On 19 March 1970, West German Prime Minister Willy Brandt visited Erfurt in Soviet East Germany to confer with Politburo member Willi Stoph about relaxing East-West tensions. Like any politician anywhere, he found himself surrounded by photographers and other politicians, both Western and Eastern, both local and national.

Images courtesy of YouTube and Zeitzeugen-portal

But everyone was in for a surprise. Thousands of Erfurters mobbed him, too. He stood nobly in the window of the Erfurter Hof Hotel to wave, gazing caringly at the crowd. Interestingly, East German television did not air anything about his visit.

Modern-day Erfurters revere the memory of Willy Brandt, for his courage in reaching out to them. They changed the name of the Erfurter Hof to the Willy Brandt ans Fenster, "Willy Brandt in the Window." The restaurant on the ground floor is the Willy B. Its walls are decorated with giant photographs of Brandt's career.

Seeing the cheering crowd of people and the now-familiar landmarks gave me chills up my spine. Erfurters took such a huge risk breaking through the police cordon to get closer to Willy Brandt. He waved his hand in a friendly downward movement to calm down the ecstatic crowd, and not risk repression by the police and the Stasi.

The former Erfurter Hof Hotel, renamed Willy Brandt ans Fenster

For the Soviets, seeing them cheer for a Western leader must have been unsettling.


March 31, 2023

How Long Do Republicans Wait?

Americans who vote Republican have to remember that, for people who work for the Republican Party, it's just a job. They may like their jobs. Mostly they prefer to keep their jobs. They may share the Republican sentiment for free-market principles and military readiness; but when someone like me comes along and suggests that Republicans petition for a nation of their own, they worry about things like job-redundancy and relocations more than they do about Democrat big-government and peacenik sell-out.

March 23, 2023

Release Grand Ole Prometheus!

Left-wing trash-talking of the GOP represents a concerted campaign that should concern its leaders. The scathing rhetoric suggests that the trash-talking will not end until the Left can make the GOP the permanent minority-party, and silence or discredit its associated media-organs. Older Americans familiar with the Nazi-smearing of the Jews should note the similarities in the left-wing method. Neither the Republicans nor freedom-loving people of any stripe should ignore the potential threat that these smear-tactics represent.

March 21, 2023

Republicans: a New Start

The Republican Party has a few tasks it needs to undertake. It needs to examine the philosophy it claims to represent and to take stock of its future, and stop thinking in terms of personal rivalries. We have more on the line than just choosing candidates and securing a victory in future elections. The GOP needs to regain a corporate sense-of-self. How can we move forward when we have deep doubts about the game, the rules, and not least the players?

Lloyd Bowers


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