Taiwan Church News
13 - 19 March, 2017
Germany's Political Culture, Transitional Justice And Energy Policy Observed In A Taiwan Reporter's New Book: Die Macht in der Mitte Europas
Reported by Simon Lin
In February, Mr Lin Yu-li, an independent Taiwanese journalist long stationed in Germany since 1998, launched his new book Die Macht in der Mitte Europas: Wie sich Deutschland neu enfindet: an observational first-hand report of Germany's political culture after WWII, how transitional justice was practiced after the unification of West and East Germany in 1990, and Germany's energy policy after 1998. To report Germany's proceedings of transitional justice, Mr Lin also made a face to face interview of Mr Roland Jahn, Director of Stasi Museum.
Before the unification of East and West Germany in 1990, Stasi(East Germany's State Security Dept) played a role in 40 years' East Germany authoritarian ruling just like Taiwan Garrison Command in Taiwan's martial law periods: i.e. to monitor and control the dissident and its own people.
In order to control the whole East Germany, it is estimated 300,000 East Germany officers or ordinary people were recruited by Stasi as agents to monitor or prosecute anyone who were suspicious to them, even though the indicted were innocent. On 7 November 1990, in order to proceed the Germany's transitional justice, with an exhibition titled "Against the Sleep of Reason", the Stasi museum was declared open to the public ever since.
Mr Roland Jahn, expressed in his interview, that there were over one million people applying for watching those secret files previously stored in Stasi headquarter offices in the first two years after the opening of Stasi museum. Quite a strong and clear signal suggesting that dialogue and reconciliation of the past sufferings could only come after a clarification of truth and responsibilities!
In the meantime, any former East Germany officer or agent having been recruited by Stasi has to confess his true identity and past jobs to the new German government after 1990, otherwise their current job in the new government would be fired immediately once found lying! This is because the real trust from the German people has been greatly offended and betrayed.
Translated by Peter Wolfe
In his new book, Die Macht in der Mitte Europas: Wie sich Deutschland neu enfindet, Mr Lin Yu-li(center standing), an independent Taiwanese journalist long stationed in Germany since 1998, delivers his first-hand observation of Germany's political culture after WWII, how transitional justice was practiced after the unification of West and East Germany in 1990, and Germany's energy policy after 1998.
Photo by Simon Lin