A Police democratises itself

Diskussionskommando Berlin

De-escalation Of Violance

 In the beginning, getting seriously in touch with the student movement's political and social issues raised conflicting emotions in me. It's quite difficult for someone who was born as a post-war child in Berlin-West, with his mother's experiences during the invasion of the Russians in mind and the Wall and barbed wire before his eyes every day, to come to appreciate supporters of socialist or communist ideas. I did know about Historical and Dialectical Materialism, but only in terms of textbook knowledge, as historical and philosophical subjects of history lessons in school. Listening to the lectures of those "men from the university" and talking to them made me losen the clenched fist in my pocket and acquire the tolerance and the readiness to think about their theses. I owe it mostly to Hans-Ulrich Luther and Siegfried Schubenz – one a socialist, the other one an avowing communist. The monthly conversations in the house of Klaus Harms, the protestant clergyman of Berlin police, would serve as further jigsaw pieces for my growing. As soon as Group 47 would show up at demonstrations, we would be surrounded by demonstrators, so we decided to split into posts of one or. That automatically changed our view on those 1-2000 people – they stopped being just a sinister mass, able to turn all of a sudden into violent disrupters, now they became individuals vis-à-vis. Two or three people who we could talk to and who talked with us. The situation was no longer confrontational, we did not embody an intimidation –  we stood there visibly unarmed, uniform jackets unbuttoned, without helmets and pathetically outnumbered by them. That brought about a mutual sense of honesty and squareness. We shared a common goal – our involvement in bringing change into society.
Copyright  D e t l e f   W u l f f  2008-2016 / English:  P i e k e  B i e r m a n n, Berlin Germany

68th Revolt

denkmal 2. juni
A Police democratises itself
Each one within their respective area and from their own position. God's Babylonian verdict "they will not understand each other" transformed into "let us get together and talk things out". From that moment on demonstra- tions and rallies proceeded practically non-violent. So we were successful! Non-violence had been our goal, we were deployed for the sake of avoiding violence, not of eliminating demonstrations or combatting the APO. Now new ways of thinking do not always reach everybody and sometimes may take some time, which was immediately proved by numerous complaints from certain police leaders. For them our outfit – bareheaded, caps in hand, open jacket – was im- proper behavior.  Consequently, smoking a cigarette together with demonstrators was regarded as illicit fraternisation. Betrayal is what they actually meant! Meanwhile even the city's daily press was resorting to a more moderate tone when reporting about demon- strations. Obviously the attempt to kill Rudi Dutschke had brought some of them back to their senses. Unfortunately that was not true for the majority of Berliners. The "regular man on Main Street" remained widely untouched by the ongoing changes. Physical attacks and insults against demonstrators did not stop. And the process of democratizing the police was very very slow. Recent comments on demonstrations in an internet police forum show that it is partly even getting lost again.