The East Berlin uprising of June 17, 1953 was the first massive challenge totalitarianism met from within. It utterly destroyed the myth of the unity of state and society under Stalinism. Led by the workers, an entire society rose against its oppressors, thundering its demand for freedom and asserting its humanity. The uprising was defeated only by the intervention of the Russian army; its leadership was destroyed or dispersed. But its social and intellectual roots have not been and cannot be eradicated.
The East German Rising is, unfortunately, a much abridged translation of the original Der Aufstand (Stuttgart: Steingrueben Verlag, 1955). It is, in the main, a detailed account of what happened during the three days beginning June 16, 1953 in the industrial centers of Berlin and East Germany. The pattern of the events was everywhere the same. The news of the downing of tools by the East Berlin workers and their march upon the government and party centers l...
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