Guido Grunewald (German peace movement), 1992

Guido Grunewald interview, Toronto, 1991 or 1992
Interviewer — Metta Spencer

GRUNEWALD: Okay, yes. I am giving my experience under the condition that I get a copy of the transcript.

METTA: And the book.

GRUNEWALD: And the book, of course. Take that for granted.

METTA: Okay. Thank you. Now I don’t know. I don’t have a whole questionnaire formulated, or — I do have a questionnaire formulated, but actually it works best if we just go out and find out where people have been in their journey through the peace movement; how you got started; what organizations you were involved with; what organizations you were connected with, what meetings and discussion you participated in; who you know and what you think of the people you know; and what developed in the debates with them. What was a particularly interesting debate, and what difference it made? Do you think that the peace movement has had any impact in this world and positive or negative? That’s the kind of thing we’re looking for. So why don’t you…

GRUNEWALD: In the East-West model.

METTA: Yeah, but even if you think of something else. Mostly it’s the East-West context that we are looking at. So, how did you get involved?

GRUNEWALD: I’m a member of the German Peace Society, United War Resisters, which is a special peace organization, member of the government division of WRI.

METTA: I thought that the German Peace Society is itself a member of the WRI.

GRUNEWALD: Yes, and a member of IPB, the International Peace Bureau. So, one thing is our principal position against some switch and any kind of War Service. It’s a WRI Statement. Every member has to sign it. The second thing is that we always had a special zen, I would say, within WRIA. There were a lot of arguments in the seventies. We tend to call our position our political tendency, which means that we want to be the end: personal resistance, and kind of collective action too, and not only on the grounds of radical non-resistance, but on more common ground — the common of mainstream people. And, I think that comes from the special tradition of the German Peace Society which was founded in 1892, and like all those bourgeois peace movements from the beginning, there was a preoccupation with international law.

METTA: You’ve got me confused immediately. “Bourgeois peace movements from the beginning”, “bourgeois” as opposed to what?

GRUNEWALD: Well, it was I don’t know the meaning of the English word. We would say that it’s called “bor-ga-lis-cious”

METTA: Well, I’m not quarrelling with the word, it’s just I’m not sure…

GRUNEWALD: Well, I mean that the peace movement is a beginning and the whole continent of Europe and Latin American was made up of middle class people who certainly opposed and rejected even by the worker’s movement. That’s what I would call the “bourgeois” people, and that’s where it started.

METTA: Okay.

GRUNEWALD: Just touching on the origin. Not having combining any value or argument with it. And of course there was this preoccupation about international law, and afterwards, after the first words were relative to disarmament, and this, I think… we tried to combine both those positions: the radical, non-resistance; and the international law and comprehensive disarmament approach. I had become the international spokesperson of this organization in 1980, or 1981, I’m not sure. I also became a member of the executive of the International Peace Bureau, in 1980. I think that was the beginning of my active involvement in the international peace movement. So what happened mostly between 1979 and 1991, I had participated in many conferences and meetings in Europe at some of the END conventions, but also at the Athens meeting in Greece, when we had a kind of direct dialogue, during 1984, I guess. I’m not sure about figures. I mean, I will say for the record that I am just checking out of memory. I was not prepared to do it, and unfortunately I was leading a very hectic life during those years. I really don’t remember. I think it was between 1984 and 87 or and 88 when we had these excellent dialogue meetings. There were W. Peace Council and other member organizations and IPB member organizations, Western organizations, met. There was one major event that was I was say, from, for East-West Intelligence, and also of course, we had lets us, we had some visits. Our organization specifically, we had contact with the East German, or the GDR Peace Council. (State of the livery) Peace Council? I’ve been there I think about 4 times in those years.


GRUNEWALD: GDR. And we faced two or three women, late in the second part of the 80s to Hungary, the Hungarian Peace Council. One of them would be the “Peace Information Meeting”, I think it was called, organized by the Soviet Peace Committee. I participated in ’87 when there was a change from Zhukov to what’s it’s called?

METTA: Borovik?

GRUNEWALD: Borivik, right. I found that Borivik was invited. I didn’t go but when it changed I decided now it was time to try. I participated twice as an observer in WPC, when they set themselves were very kind to open up and I wanted to try. A lot of informal meetings with me. But the bottom is what I will try to do is tell me the experiences which now come to mind which is mostly with peace movement people. Certainly, I had also met during those years, officials, too, and of course, a lot of them were semi-officials or sometimes they were officials as members of affiliation but what I can’t, unfortunately, serve you with at the moment is the names and the positions of people at.

METTA: Before we do that. I would like for you tell me the position of the German Peace Society in the broader context of the German Peace Movement. And, tell me that every organization that tell you yours was related to them.

GRUNEWALD: Well, the German Peace Society is still and was obviously larger peace organization, but you should be aware that when this so-called new peace movement emerged. I don’t think it was a new one, but anyhow. At the beginning of the 80s, in Germany it consisted mostly of peace initiatives and informal peace groups, not organizations of a specific field. A specific featured were West German.

METTA: Initiatives such as?

GRUNEWALD: Just really local groups, very informal groups, very informal groups. They called them initiatives. Peace initiatives. We discovered for the first time that… young people, especially, are not ready to join any organization. There was no German peace organizations that had many members during those years. The people just wanted to meet informally, having no obligations at all. Even though they were realizing there was still a need for organizations. They’re doing the good work and the organizational work and people joined. But still, this was quite a new phenomenon. We haven’t figured it out but it amazes me, but in a different way. So what you have to do if you have Pax Christi and I’ve tried… which has grown somewhat but Christi might the one organization which has developed, mostly among the Catholics, who mean, I think they have to develop four of the last five years, not economical.

METTA: It’s not entirely among the Catholics. I assumed it wouldn’t be just a Catholic Organization.

GRUNEWALD: I think it is, as far as I know in Germany. It’s ecumenical and I think they given up but only in the last five years because this debate, the whole debate about the (Euromasinge) and about the deterrence, and nuclear deterrence. It took a long time. It took especially a long time in the Catholic Church and then it detected something there, and you have rather small set of [] reconciliation. You have an organization called Action Reconciliation which is doing reconciliation work by, for example, sending young people abroad for two years of service. Part of them are conscientious objective doing the alternative civil service. Part of them are just volunteers. They are a mixture. They are [grained] around the peace movement but their main field is still reconciliation work. They were very active in the first half of the 80s and now they have come back to reconciliation work. This Auschwitz, Israel, especially the Germans.

METTA: Auschwitz and Israel? What have they been doing?

GRUNEWALD: They have been building, for example. Building and documentation, or just sometimes, doing charity work or social work. What you call knowledge to the head of the constituents of the reconciliation. I think that [Iserantio] had a cause with the Vulderheder Party, which later became a kind of organization, the German Peace Union, [by Japrene Union], which at the beginning was not, but then became heavily influenced by the government. The Government had been forbidden there’s no Gunrein until ’68. And… but it’s straight. And you had a committee called Committee for Co- Copred… Committee for Peace, Disarmament, and Corporation. And they were also quiet to some quite extent of influence by government but were not angry. I think that is nearly the spectrum. I mean you also the Pilgimisvistis and the Radical non-violent movement, but they are smaller, smaller branch.

METTA: Who’s the names of people in these groups? If you had to name five of the most dominant peace activists in…

GRUNEWALD: You can’t. I wouldn’t do this because I don’t thoroughly… I mean this was always something which was very disputed, just in Germany because we had to divert majority of movements. They would never have accepted as being peace leaders. They would never.

METTA: Who in Germany? Nobody knew?

GRUNEWALD: No, not really. You had spokespeople. You needed them for the media, but not like this. And certainly, you must make a difference because there is one country which is again, special to Germany, and the same people who were very much known in the country and have done a lot of work there mostly didn’t travel abroad or participate in international lobbying, as you say. So for example, I choose… I have never been prominent on the domestic scene. I mean, I know all those people, they all know me. I am participating in many events, but I never choose to play a prominent role there.

METTA: That’s interesting.

GRUNEWALD: I concentrate just on international lobby, and I really couldn’t do more. You have full-time people who could do more. They didn’t, and for example, [Pitkakelly], who is much known outside certainly was always Mogli Party member and a Green Party member. It was considered as a part of the movement, certainly never in the leading part and always there was a clear subdivision between a party and a movement. She was as a speaker, of course, recognized, but certainly not as a activist leader on the domestic scene. This is rather difficult to do… I can direct you to one of two books.

METTA: Okay.


METTA: I can’t read German, though.

GRUNEWALD: You might find someone who can. Anyway. But on the international scene I might, who could I name? Really, only a handful of people. One is Konrad Lubbert. He’s from the Fellowship of Reconciliation and he was working mostly with WPC, even though he certainly got [accomplished]. He was working in mostly in this delighted field. Who else? Well, you have some people who were working strictly within the WRI framework, but they didn’t participate in other meetings. And certainly you some Conscientious Objectors were were just in this scene. I wouldn’t know… I don’t think they fit in this building — it was a different scene, besides.

METTA: I’m just making sure this is still going… all right.

GRUNEWALD: I’m just trying to remember who else was. And you had Andreas Zumach. He was working for Action Reconciliation at that time, and he was very active. He had a special close link to the United States. Either he had studied there or he had some relatives I don’t know. So he and I worked together and were responsible for bringing the first Peace Delegation to Germany in ’82. So you might, I could get you his address, I think. He is in Geneva. He is now working as a journalist, but he would be worthwhile just to ask about till ’86, I guess.

METTA: Okay. Good.

GRUNEWALD: I think that is at the moment the people that I remember. There might be one or two more, actually.

METTA: I had some contact with Herbert Ammon, last June and in the last while, which I found interesting, because he told me. I found it interesting that he needs working on trying to get the peace movement to include the notion of German Reunification.


METTA: And he indicated that the activists the reunification didn’t get represented in government as much in some of the other countries then were the dissidents that came to power…

GRUNEWALD: In the East Side of Germany…

METTA: Yes. That because the credibility of the peace movement was less because they had not supported the German Unification.

GRUNEWALD: Yes, but I wouldn’t like to… this is quite really an argument of a different thing. I don’t think that she or he is right but anyhow. To just bring it back to the peace movement. Yes, you had this very small group. They thrived among most intellectuals, like he himself. They were not successful in the peace movement or []. The peace movement actually, was very hazardous. I think most people would have been happily settled down with the kind of confederation.

METTA: It isn’t totally irrelevant because one of the things I have to look at is how the commitment came to be made in the Soviet Union to nod a policy of non-intervention which of course is what opened the door to everything else, and.. I don’t know how or who had any influence and especially whether Germans and people like Valin had any influence.

GRUNEWALD: It might be, yes, but my judgement would be that the German Peace Movement certainly gave us, if any, I mean, we were not — it was not a topic for us, but if we were asked, I think we were secondary to the Soviets. For us the unification issue was nothing which has priority. And I think nobody in the German peace movement… and we mostly got the problem in by the Western European movement. I’m not talking about the East, but the Western European movement. They gave us some feeling that they were rather afraid of a united Germany, but of course nobody was imagining what kind of different contact it would be. So I think you had…

METTA: But, looking back, you wouldn’t done it differently.

GRUNEWALD: No. Why? I don’t know. This is a different question. That was not what I was saying now. I was just trying to give a description. I think, no, I personally would feel, and I think most of my colleagues would still argue for a kind of confederation as a better solution. There were very few who really brought it to the bitter end and didn’t want to open the door.

METTA: You’re based in Cologne. To what extent were the activists in Berlin isolated? To what extent did [mon israel immigration with humanitarians?

GRUNEWALD: In West Berlin you mean?


GRUNEWALD: I think that… well this is also only a feeling among peace activists but it was a feeling among the population in newspapers, feeling among journalists that Berlin was always a very hot place and that political opinion, political debate, became separated in Berlin. All this and much more (how it express it in English) “gobletigook” and sometimes I think people in West Germany now being of West Berlin… it was not so easy to understand some policy arguments. It was somewhat different. West Berlin wasn’t ironed to some extent. You could call it a political greenhouse.

METTA: I can understand that.

GRUNEWALD: That gives you some idea. For example it was quite interesting that the END convention in Berlin. It was not by chance that it went to Berlin. As far as I understand there was not so much as was a outrage. It was much put on by the British, but of course, they were also very eager in West Berlin to have it. There was much less enthusiasm in West Germany at that time.

METTA: Why? They were afraid that it would get out of hand?

GRUNEWALD: Yes. But I think that was one argument and there was a second argument I guess. It’s really hard to remember because it was a long time ago. Well of course you had this communist swing and communist influence swing, Britain thinks, but coming together sometimes, and you should never forget that Germany… there was a special strong feeling of anti-anti- communism because there was really so such a strong emotional anticommunism which had nothing to do with being for logical or humanitarian reasons. Again, communists practised, but just, it is all bad and really they are really the realm of evil… it’s a stupid reaction but just a simple calculation. Never support anything — those cold warriors attacking. I am supposing. This was I think might have been especially strong in West Germany during all the years which was one of the reasons why there was all the problem of minimum consensus and coalition building of trying to negotiate and to try to keep the movement together, which quite successful it is. I still think it was good. But of course, there was many bitter arguments and all or some people, a lot of people were not content and they wanted to push it further and to have real clear-cut information on this and this. You have it in this kind of coalition.

METTA: The coalition that you are talking about that maintained its…

GRUNEWALD: Yes, that was the movement really, the so-called coordinating committee.

METTA: What was it called. The coordinating committee of what?

GRUNEWALD: Of the peace movement. It was from, maybe in ’82, maybe in ’81, no it was in ’82, after the massive Bonn demonstration of 10th of October 1981. This was a special — they expected nobody…

METTA: How large in area?

GRUNEWALD: It was really odd. I think all, kind of. I think all part of the movement were at the beginning. They presented right on. You had some very, I think very, very good, some part of the movement withdrew from, but very nice. But of course you had all different kinds of tension, not only in the Coordinating Committee but also from all the local initiatives accusing the coordinating committee of being a hierarchy.

METTA: Okay. How wide in territory did it encompass? How big an area would the…

GRUNEWALD: Well, this was nationwide.

METTA: The whole nation?

GRUNEWALD: Yes. It was the first time that the German Peace Movement succeeded, even with some really very bad work, and you had religious groups.

METTA: Does it still exist?

GRUNEWALD: Yes. But in a very different form now and a very different way. And at that time it really was a kind of coordinating committee and its size. Of course, there was some substance in the accusations of being, to trying to be a speaker for the movement. Of course, the media was asking them, and there was a temptation and a necessity both.

METTA: Right.

GRUNEWALD: And the natural tension between local groups are [the kind that exist between] the Canadian people are. I’m sure of it.

METTA: Definitely. I was just about to ask to make your comparison.

GRUNEWALD: But anyhow, for the first time we succeeded, in West Germany, to bring the movement together, and to debate within, and even if there was very sharp arguments, of course it was. Mostly we kept it together. I personally think it was an achievement. There are some people who afterward said no, “We should have split earlier. It would have achieved more.” I don’t think so, but anyhow. Coming back to the Berlin END Convention. I think it was certainly one thing getting things out of hand. The second thing was this hesitation by the Communist Party and Anti-Anti-Communists, because the END, the Russell appeal, the END appeal was not much known at that time in Germany. And it was presented, at least it was perceived by many as being attacking the Communist Part and I think those people who then did it first in Germany did it somewhat in this way, and this was a problem. So it became, from the beginning, associated with being somewhat of a partisan approach. And the Communists and the Anti-Anti Communists. The communists could use it to say, “Well, you want to split the movement,” and the Anti-Anti Communists felt it was the case. And it was really very difficult. I was one of the first signers and my group didn’t sign it. There was a lot of debate about it. And there was certainly not just the Communists who were opposing it. One problem was because of this…

METTA: You signed it but your group didn’t?

GRUNEWALD: Yes, for example. A lot of groups didn’t. I think most groups didn’t. It was mostly the Green Party, the Green certainly was varied on it. You had these Ammon people and this group — what was it called, in Berlin. There was a special group — I’ve forgotten the name. They were very much promoting it, and you had some individual people too. Was there really some major organization backing it? I don’t think so. For example, Pax Christi, at that time, was not. Even though certainly there were Pax Christi people that were behind the idea, but they were not so much developed at that time. So, if I remember rightly, I must really be careful now, because I’m just doing this out of memory. I don’t think there was really a major organization promoting it. As a result it was really not much well known. And you had just some basic ideas conveyed by partisans — by interested parties. I think…

METTA: What about the documents that came later out of the East, or out of the East-West that —- the Prague Appeal and Giving Real Life to the Helsinki Accords.

GRUNEWALD: Was it in ’84 or ’85?

METTA: Ummm, maybe ’83. Look, I shouldn’t… it’s easy to look up but I can’t. It was followed by Giving Real life to the Helsinki Accords, which was an East-West thing. The Prague Appeal had the distinctive thing of including the unification of Germany and…

GRUNEWALD: It came from Charta 77, right?

METTA: That’s right, and that was not included in the subsequent document, Giving Real Life to the Helsinki Accord. Of course, that document was circulated very widely. I, here, in Canada was responsible for getting the signatures, so…

GRUNEWALD: An interesting thing is that all those documents — it is very unfortunate. It really relates to all international documents — didn’t get much attention in Germany.

METTA: Well, they didn’t get much attention in Canada either.

GRUNEWALD: Well, I’m talking of the people, not just the people in the peace movement.

METTA: I’m trying to think of where they may have got attention. I don’t know… It got attention in writing, because commentators, but it’s true that… I didn’t think it was discussed much in grass-root organizations.

GRUNEWALD: But you had more debate. I know this. It was more debate outside.

METTA: Really?

GRUNEWALD: Yes. I always have called up to now (it’s very slowly changing). The German Peace Movement very provincial. We were a country of 60 million people. Now we are nearly 80. They were, I think five people who were continuously peace work — International Peace Work. I could meet internationally — I’ve been one of a very few persons. I obviously did it in my free time. I mean, I was never employed.

METTA: Really, you mean this as free time.

GRUNEWALD: Yes, of course. And it meant that very few of those documents really got into the debate. For example, I can’t claim that I was able to convey much of what I learned. And I became known of during my travels and my meetings but I could convey it only to my constituency in my own organization. Because international news and international contacts was always one of the last items. Mostly, I got five minutes. And then people are already going.


GRUNEWALD: I’m just trying to explain it. This was so different than other organizations. It was a different thing. People were interested in getting foreign guests, for example, to would bring in Hibakushas, which we several times did. There were really no sense of being a part of a transnational movement, not just interesting foreign affairs. As far as I know, in the coordinating committee, for example, you never had any person responsible for international relations. It was an interesting thing that people visited, for example, Hungarians, when they tried to open up, and to get know other organizations. They first went to the coordinating committee, and then they came to me and said, “Can you arrange for our visit and arrange for contact? They are not really going to do it, unfortunately.” Not only the grassroots people, but I would say also of the leaders, the domestic leaders, that there was a Prague appeal explicitly and expressively calling for German Unification. I think so.

METTA: Well, okay. That figures. I know one of our Canadian Peace Alliance Presidents or whatever he was called. He didn’t know what the Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly was fairly recently.

GRUNEWALD: Yes, even now, in Germany, even though there is now a committee, you will find some people…

METTA: What about participation in IPCC. Were you involved?

GRUNEWALD: Not really…

METTA: Should tell me frankly that…

GRUNEWALD: We have this contact some of the affiliated committees and peace councils in the East. That was already established when I joined the organization. I think it developed in the beginning of the 70s. I supported it. I was critical. My position was always: we should have some discussion but it must be really discussion to the point. It can’t just be an exchange of friendly opinion and excluding all those points where we do disagree, which was the approach the Eastern People tried.

METTA: You refused to exclude things that were contentious.

GRUNEWALD: Right. Even though it developed over time. That was my feeling, when I was on my first visit in ’77. It didn’t work like this. I was very new. I could just see and I didn’t like the thing, how it worked, because.

METTA: This is to the Soviet Union?

GRUNEWALD: No no, this was to East Germany.

METTA: East Germany. Okay.

GRUNEWALD: It was a German Peace Council at that time.

METTA: Well, tell me about that.

GRUNEWALD: Well, I will tell you about it later. We were. I came to this how?

METTA: I was asking about IPCC.

GRUNEWALD: Well Okay. I will just take it down and then I will come back to my specific experience… there are so many of them. So because of this, there was always a contention that we were too soft, even Communist-influenced. You can read them in a Canadian book, written Dimitri Roussopoulos, that my organization, the same level as the German Peace Union, was influenced by the Communists. I had a argument with him yesterday. He listened carefully.

METTA: Did he set you back?

GRUNEWALD: He listened carefully. But he told me where he got his information from, so okay. Now I can understand. I mean, it’s a difficult thing. If you say and we always said, “We accept communists as members.” They have to sign our charter, which means radical non-resistance.” I could never figure out how somebody who is a dedicated communist believer can reconcile it. But what I sensed is that there were a lot of people who were really dedicated to peace. I mean, not just… So my personal feeling was that they were in conflict. And my personal feeling is that, if they are in conflict, I and other people should discuss as much as possible with them and I was always sure that our arguments would win and that ultimately they would turn into pacifists, which most of them really did. I would say in reality after some time we infiltrated the Communist Party, which was fairly odd (Laughter). I mean, many people didn’t accept this and so I had a lot of difficulties and was being accused: “Well, okay, you personally, are a fine guy. But, you are the fine guy of the bad organization.” I didn’t accept this. But, there was a lot of criticism and also a lot of criticism rightly put. So, it means that IPCC, to come just to this, I went there, and my organization at that time didn’t like it. Because they didn’t know anything about IPCC. They just thought it was END and the END Appeal, and at that time, it was perceived by the majority of our board, of being this split, of trying to split the movement, so I did it secretly. They learned about it. They attacked me, but they did it in a rather unclever way. The chairman put somebody, whom he had instructed, but this person didn’t really exactly. So he started to talk and it was quite nonsense what he was talking. Then I shouted at him and said, “No, now, you tell me what you really know.” And he couldn’t of course, answer anything because he didn’t know. He didn’t know. He was just instructed but — so I won the case. They let me do it. “He’s stubborn. We can’t stop him”. So I personally got in it. I did it in order to change, not only our international relations, but also to become involved and to induce a debate and I was sure, slowly but surely, that this would influence discussion within our membership too.

METTA: Did you bring back your report of what you discussed at the IPCC?

GRUNEWALD: Ideas. Ideas, at least. I told you it was not really possible to bring back reports, but ideas, and contacts. I mean, every organization is keen on contacts. And if you can say, okay, if you have this or this activity, just ask me, I’ll bring you this person and this person. Okay.

METTA: So it made a difference?

GRUNEWALD: Yes, it made a difference, but, within IPCC, and I was really angry about this, I asked the Wim Bartels, can we become members? I was thinking at that time that he might do it, even though it was difficult because we were already members in two organizations. To pay the memberships, to go to the meetings, I mean, it was very difficult. As he said, “No, you can’t”. And that was something about IPCC. He was deciding. They were very undemocratic at the beginning. I got so angry, I didn’t want to argue and said “Okay, then we leave it.”. I sometimes went there as an observer when I thought I knew Andreas so I got the report. I knew what they doing. It was the same thing. I was accepted as a person, but not the organization and that, I couldn’t stand. I was not leaving the organization for obvious reasons. If it would have been really Communist, I would have left it, certainly. And I know the difference. I have been the international spokesperson for ten years. I never got directions — what to tell, how to vote. I know how it was in the German Peace Union; there you get directions. In Communist-directed — a directed organization, you get some direction. Anyhow. So that’s why we really didn’t have this relation with the IPCC. I had a personal one. I knew what was going on and I had personal contacts with all those people.

METTA: But after you were turned down in your exploratory comments, did you go back and participate as an observer again?

GRUNEWALD: Sometimes I did, yes. And I got their report. And I got is from Andreas Zumach.

METTA: Would you say that they would still handle it that way or you may have different procedures?

GRUNEWALD: No. We are now observers, officially.

METTA: No, but would they make the decision that way now?

GRUNEWALD: It would be voted. I might have been able at that time, to get it there, but I didn’t want it any longer.

METTA: What year was it, about? What time was it?

GRUNEWALD: It was in ’82 — very early.

METTA: I see. Okay. Now you were about to tell me about…

GRUNEWALD: About the first visit to — and then I can try to give some of the experiences. I can you tell you of some experience with the East German Peace Committee’s account. There is some people there. That is what I remember. I observed some change. My first visit was just as an ordinary member of the National Board, rather inexperienced at international work (at that time for us Germans it was a kind of international work, going to East Germany). At that time I think that was not a good visit because we had many inexperienced people because we had a major reshuffling and those leading figures were really either communist influenced, I would say, or Anti-Anti- Communist. So it was a rather soft approach. I didn’t like it at all. And I said, “Okay. This has to be changed, if we are going to do it.” I couldn’t do it at that time. I mean, I couldn’t even personally handle it. You first have to get accustomed. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been through this experience, but certainly, if you are in a company of people whom you know, that there are certainly just not a bunch of dogmatic communists, but are really dedicated. You want to work with them, and they are really working, and working for good things. Maybe not all of the arguments you would like but certainly, in general, on a good line. But they are very afraid and very strict and it’s creating a kind of atmosphere and you first need to get courage to break through the atmosphere and to make sure that you are not attacking the companions, but that you try. Personally, you have to take the initiative. You have to do it personally.

METTA: Tell me what you think you’re afraid of.

GRUNEWALD: I think they were puzzled, confused: How could we behave like the Springer Press.

METTA: Well, I heard of it. I can’t read German…

GRUNEWALD: Very well. Okay. At that time, he was still alive. And that was the most Cold War thing. And how could we behave like him? Too easily because they were identifying a sharp remark, for example, as doing that. I wouldn’t assume that this is the same kind of thing. And of course, the East German people and all Eastern people were very clever at that time in fostering this sentiment. It was their bitterness. And they were even feeling like this. I mean, they were very… I am talking of ’77, where they had no development there. And where there were just very simple ideas. And of course, you really had also in the West German Peace Movement, I think like, in every movement, you had also people who really were just emotional anti-communists. Of course, you’re right. Among all this mixture and being German.

METTA: How did agenda get set, and what was defined as what you’re allowed to talk about and what…

GRUNEWALD: I don’t know. It was not a matter of being allowed. I mean, you had certainly a… we were talking about conscientious objection but only very shortly and very briefly. You see, there was not really as… You could say that it was discussed, but I wouldn’t say it was really discussed. And with that not the shouting or accusing the East Germans. I don’t think that would be a good approach. But really I asked tough questions but in a friendly way. Giving a really a very principled commentary but still in a cooperative way. One thing is what developed —and maybe we just stick now to the East German Peace Council. The Peace Council of the GDR. Over the years, and I am not sure, I mean maybe that the softness at the beginning, (even though I still think it was wrong), but that contributed something to the development of some feeling of trust by the Peace Council of East Germany. Because there are two things. Over the years, at least some of us, I personally, one or two colleagues, we changed. I had the courage, I had that stature of doing it, and certainly when I was participating there was another atmosphere. It’s now really difficult to say this because it sounds as if I am praising myself. But I remember one thing and I say this with reservation. In ’84, or in ’83 I was participating in Helsinki at the WPC council meeting as an observer which was going to be opening up (which it wasn’t at all. I can come back to this later) and

METTA: You thought it was opening up but…

GRUNEWALD: They were telling us. I was suspicious, rather, but I wanted to join, so I went there. And I had some very interesting experiences. But anyhow our delegation was already at that time for one day in East Germany and I flew from Helsinki with some of the East Germans into East Berlin. And when we arrived there they were just in the middle of a discussion. I think it was about C.O. No, it was not about C.O. It was about disarmament, and the perceptions of NATO threats. And when I entered the room, I had the feeling it was somewhat at an impasse. And it was there was nobody who seemed to be able to take an initiative. Well, I mean, it sounds when I say it but… when I came into the discussion, the atmosphere changed. Because they knew that I was certainly a principal objector to many of their practices, but at the same time they knew that I took them as partners, as discussion partners. Not as enemies or just as evil guys. And I addressed then very quickly the question of empathy, and of asking them, “Don’t think you… I mean, have you ever thought of — I’m not talking of politicians or of military people but of ordinary West German citizens — that they (maybe wrongly), but that they really might be afraid by the huge numbers of Warsaw Pact troops. We shouldn’t talk about how must military force there really is. How “hittable” they might be. This was a very tough question, because in ’84, this was a very new concept for them. Even in West Germany, in the Peace Research Movement, a discussion had just really started about it. There was some talk before but it was just began really to be practised. But this… it changed the whole atmosphere and they didn’t understand. I think they perceived somewhat as an aggressive question but still, it got things going. It later developed to that in ’87, and I would really claim… (I’m part of it.) Our organization — I didn’t have the idea. It was somebody else. It was somebody who was Anti-Anti-Communist. He had this good idea of organizing an Olof Palme Peace March.

METTA: Oh yeah.

GRUNEWALD: You have heard about it. The idea of the Border strip? It was not so much, I’m not sure that in ’87 this was so much important to have this nuclear free zone along the border. But the Olof Palme idea of common security was still very interesting at that time and it was for the first time that there was a joint action across the border between Eastern and Western Peace movement. It was organized by the German Peace Authority, the United War Resisters, by the GDR Peace Council, essentially. (They set up a committee.) And by the Czechoslovakian Peace Committee.

METTA: What was it calling for?

GRUNEWALD: It was calling this just for this nuclear free corridor along the borderline. But, we made it quite clear.

METTA: Yeah, I didn’t know that the East Germans had supported that.

GRUNEWALD: Yeah. I mean, how could you do it otherwise? How could you do it?

METTA: I hadn’t thought about it. I didn’t know anything about the East German participation.

GRUNEWALD: Oh. Let me explain it. What we made sure is, we knew it had to be the Peace Council to be the partner. But at that time, we had already changed discussions in membership and in activist and there was a widespread feeling that it can’t be just the Peace Council. We are talking about East Germany, where you had —

METTA: Members of the Peace Council wouldn’t have approved unless the German Government also approved.

GRUNEWALD: Yes, of course.

METTA: So I hadn’t heard that anything…

GRUNEWALD: No no, the East German government was in favour of this proposal. But they certainly were not in favour of what we developed out of it. That was one thing. The other thing for us was really this joint action. We wanted to have this. It was the only chance to do it with the official or state affiliated group. Maybe it was even the right thing to do it. There was a lot of argument in the WRI, if they should support us or not. Eventually, I think they sent us warm greetings. But anyhow, IPB supported it. Anyhow, it was somebody from the other side really, we did it with. But, we made sure that the unofficial, or the autonomous groups, independent groups, could participate. We assured it. They set up a committee where the church was included — the Protestant Church. And we said, “we can’t do it in West Germany. They have a terrible press campaign, and if you can’t assure us that if other groups and other individuals join, you will find a decent way for them to participate in some way, without just following you, forget it.” It was a very difficult negotiation process, of course. It took about one year. And I have to admit, we had to concentrate on East Germany. It was certainly not as pluralistic in Czechoslovakia. We couldn’t handle it. We had not enough resources. So, it was a little bit unfair to the East Germans.

METTA: The Czechs never went along with them.

GRUNEWALD: Well. They did it. But I mean, there, you didn’t involve, you had no chance for Charter ’77. We did not talk to Charter ’77. We really couldn’t do it.

METTA: Sure. I know.

GRUNEWALD: I afterwards discussed with Havel, but only afterwards. We really had the choice to do it before. But anyhow, the Peace Council, and it was really the crucial voice and Gerd Gruene, one of the key figures, but not internationally. Gerd Gruene, German, one of the chairpersons of the – German Peace Society and German War Resisters – GFGDK.

METTA: That’s your group.

GRUNEWALD: That’s my group. And we took with us one of those communists who had been much influenced. But at that time we thought, well we have to take him. We were discussing with both of us, should we really be taking him? We said yes, we must. And it was a big surprise, because when we were there, suddenly we were playing ball, the three of us. He was supporting us in everything. It was a much bigger surprise to the Peace Conference. They were sitting there with their mouth open. It meant business as Gerd and I were coming. It was a symbol that now we were getting tough and what happened and I think that was an important thing — we were shouting at each other. But it was possible to shout at each other and still having this kind of fundamental trust, not agreeing with each other on principles, but that nobody is trying to exploit you and here to betray you. Otherwise, it would not have been possible. And I think that the East German Peace Council at that time, they knew it would be something the government wouldn’t like, certainly. They felt it. They certainly didn’t know what it really would be like. And, if you talk to East Germans now, I think many of them will acknowledge that it was a first time. It was objective — you can read it in books now — it was the first time that the opposition groups were allowed to show their banners and their slogans.

METTA: To show their banners, really?

GRUNEWALD: Yes, I mean I was personally there. No banner was taken away, in ’87. In the book, called The Protestant Revolution

METTA: By whom?

GRUNEWALD: Eberhard Reiner, I think.

METTA: Only in German?

GRUNEWALD: Yes, unfortunately. He wanted to stress the role of the Protestant Church and he started with the Olof Palme Peace March. And I think it has something because it was really for the first time, that there was no oppression of those groups and I had been in one event in Torgau, where the American and Soviet Soldiers met in 1945. And I talked afterward. It was a funny thing, because it was the kind of airfight between the FGY, the Free German Youth, the official state youth, and the independent groups, who was going to have his banner higher. (Laugh). But this was kind of peaceful competition. I was on the stage so I could observe it. And afterwards I talked to those people. We were together. You could feel both the relief, but also then again, the look to the future, and what is going to happen now? Are we going to go back to prison again, I mean to this mental prison? Is there now going to be oppression, depression? And what happened was that, afterwards, our relations with the East German Peace Council substantially cooled. They were under pressure from the government, because their government had stupidly concluded that all the trouble began with the Olof Palme peace march. So they got a lot of pressure. But I mean, I think, all our discussions. I can’t prove it, but to get them to do this thing, certainly, had a lot to do with what we discussed about empathy and trying to look from different angles, and that we always accepted them, I would say. The radical approach chosen by Petra Kelly, of just confronting them, “You must change, so please… you have to allow all those people to speak out freely.” I think both approaches were very necessary. But we were able because these long relationships and it was developing. And it was developing in the sense that some persons at least, and I would say now, all of our membership, really engaged them in discussion. They got them into discussions, and therefore they undertook it. Certainly there was a different meaning and maybe getting some more recognition for the GDR, but they certainly knew that it was a very dangerous field and they were ready to do it. And certainly they wouldn’t have been ready two years ago to do it.

METTA: So what were the independent groups that you invited and who were able to participate?

GRUNEWALD: We didn’t invite. What we said was, everybody who wants to participate must have a right. Of course we can’t — I mean we were very careful at that time. It was East Germany, another state. And we didn’t want to have this thing of “You are telling us what”. What we said is that you are responsible for the conditions. Of course, it was an understanding. It would not just be on an equal base. But, for example, they couldn’t explain their banners. It was a tacit understanding. They didn’t say it like this. But it was very clear that they got the message.

METTA: Which groups participated?

GRUNEWALD: Mostly, of course, church groups. I mean, groups. Those in it. I mean, all of those small peace initiatives and peace groups which have gathered under the roof of the church. I think all of them participated, as far as I know. And Eppelman was very clever. At that time, he was trying to be a pacifist. He, at the beginning, on the evening before that Olof Palme Peace March began, (we had started in Stockholm, just symbolically) we were there in Stockholm, at a nice evening party with the Swedish Government and with Lisbeth Palme, widow of Olof Palme. The same evening, he ran an unofficial demonstration of 3,000 people, I think, in East Berlin. And they didn’t stop it. But you see, we opened the roof for this too. I mean, nobody knew that he was going to do this. Even I think we didn’t want to know. It was better if we did not.

METTA: But he was the engineer.

GRUNEWALD: It was Eppleman, yes. He was clever enough to seize the opportunity. But I mean nobody, of us, and also my cofellows, which really has changed also now. This Communist for example, or maybe I should say, at that time, already ex-government, even though he still belonged to the party. But I think he accepted it.

METTA: Now who is this person?

GRUNEWALD: Bauer. Maybe I shouldn’t tell the name. I have no idea, I mean I haven’t asked him. He is now working as a journalist.

METTA: How much contact was there between East (…maybe you don’t know) …between East Germany and Peace Council and the Soviets?

GRUNEWALD: A lot. And at the beginning. But it was a complex relationship. I think at the beginning they were following. Then they became quite proud of their own work, as being somewhat independent, and more open, which they were at the beginning. I mean in East Germany it was always in [?]. In the beginning it was not so. There was more room for some movement in the East Germany than the other eastern countries. But then, as the movement grew stronger in the other Eastern countries, it became very much restricted in East Germany. If you remember. And that meant that then at that time of course – - they were following the Soviet line in being rather strict and repressed and tried to dominate the whole thing. But at the same time, displaying some kind of superiority towards the Soviets. And, it was quite strange. It was right, the same way that the government stated it: Why should we change our — what is it called, what you put on the wall?

METTA: Wallpaper?

GRUNEWALD: You don’t know this famous phrase? It was a so-called chief ideologist of East Germany – Kurt Hager. He said, when he was asked, “Why don’t you change”, when Gorbachev was changing. “Oh, if your neighbour is changing the wallpaper, you are not doing it.”

METTA: What was his name?

GRUNEWALD: Kurt Hager.

METTA: Okay. So there were some tasks and maybe even some influence you think. Or, maybe I’m putting words in your mouth. The East German Peace Council may have influenced Soviet people?

GRUNEWALD: Maybe. I’m not sure.

METTA: You don’t know.

GRUNEWALD: I think that the Soviet was much more influenced by direct contact with Western Counterparts.

METTA: With Westerners, rather than the Easterners?

GRUNEWALD: Yes, I think so. The East German Peace Council, apart from this Olof Palme Peace March event, which they thought, maybe this one motive of being a German event and we are doing this, but we are doing it. They even were not so happy about the Czechs participating. Apart from this, they certainly were one of the most conservative peace council in the second half of the ’80s. Certainly they haven’t had a positive influence. You had people in East Germany, military specialists, political scientists, who certainly were influenced by people like Max Schmidt, head of the (IFPE) Institute for Politics and Econonomics in East Berlin, or some other people.

METTA: What was he working on?What was he doing?

GRUNEWALD: He was the head, and this was one of the official think-tanks. He had a lot of contact with peace researchers, also with us. Sometimes with some of us of the peace movement.

METTA: Is he still there?

GRUNEWALD: No, I don’t think so. I think he has now lost his priority. But I was saying that he was influenced. He certainly was not one of the leading progressives, but he certainly was influenced in this thinking because I remember that I talked with him in the beginning of the 80s and the late 80s. And it certainly was different to talk with him. I can’t say any more. Sorry. What I could tell you is two different things. One is the WPC experience when they said that they were opening up. They were not. And the second one, about Hungarian Peace Council and what I would claim that we had some influence in introducing, in getting them to support conscientious objection. And so the WPC thing was just… I think it was in ’83 or ’84. They had a meeting near Helsinki. And they were saying yes, we are opening up now, and please come. So I came, some others came. But when I was in one group, I listened carefully to a Portuguese, who said, “Oh, there’s an imperialist plot, and the END Appeal, it’s all plot to bury the peace movement.” I got up and said, “Okay, you told me I’m a imperialist plotter, because I signed this appeal.” I made a counter-argument, and it was quite friendly still, even though it was difficult because it was put so bluntly, and he really was, so well, uneducated, I would say. But anyhow, it was a promise that all views would be reflected in the report of the workshop. Of course, my view was not reflected… Okay, I guessed this. I must confess, I had some deep mistrust to them at that time. I was discussing with Tair in the corridor at that time. At that time he was critical but he was still working with them. And we, I think we got quite well along from the first time we met. And we were discussing in the corridor a little bit. At that time I can say also for the record, some persons, some people of the IPB executive were really emotionally anti-communist, very suspicious so they certainly wouldn’t have liked me to talk to Tair. So I had to do it just in my personal capacity. Anyhow. So I didn’t make really a point when there was in the plenary, there was this discussion and I realized that it was not my view. I said Okay, I got my lesson. But anyway, I met, afterwards when the meeting was really over I met Romesh Chandra, in the corridor. And he asked me, “Oh, how was the meeting?”. And I said, not much. You are telling me that it was an open meeting and you have changed and you will reflect our views. My view was not reflected. “And what are you telling me, what is your point. Come, tell me, we’ll change the report.” I said, “Oh, that is democracy! You meet me and now you allow me to just me personally to change the report?” Anyhow, that was an experience.

METTA: Do you know anybody who enjoyed Romesh Chandra? I only hear negative things about him.

GRUNEWALD: I think you will continue to hear negative things. I haven’t met anybody, no. I know there were some people who supported him, the World Peace Council and members. Persons belonging to membership organizations who liked his rhetoric. I even didn’t like this. I found it simplistic. But, he certainly has a rhetoric. And there were some people who liked it, but I’m not sure if they liked the person. I can’t tell you. I really don’t know.

METTA: Okay.

GRUNEWALD: Rob Prince you will have an interview with. I am not sure when I met him first. Maybe it was at that World Peace Council meeting there in ’83 or ’84 at Espo [near Helsinki]. At that time I think he was certainly somebody who believed in the work of the World Peace Council was doing. I also think that he was believing in Communism. But certainly he was already a kind of open person. He was not a dogmatic person, by his nature, by his kind of personality structure. I remember that I met him over the years, every year or so, at this Athens meeting for example. And I realized that I could watch that there was a development taking place within him. I realized that over the years. I am not sure when you really could see that but you could talk with him anyhow and he was listening more carefully. He was bringing other kinds of arguments. He was taking up arguments, and certainly a different range of topics and the way you could discuss it was changing.

METTA: Would you say that a parallel kind of development was happening with Tairov?

GRUNEWALD: Yeah. Even though when I met him I think he was already much more critical, maybe even cynical, about the World Peace Council. I’m not sure. I mean it was really hard to remember. I think at that time, because he was still staying with them, he was very critical. Maybe, I have a feeling, it was a certain kind of cynicism…

METTA: Oh, that would make sense.

GRUNEWALD: This is just feeling. And certainly Tair had developed must faster, yes. He stopped quite earlier working for WPC. I think what Rob Prince was already disillusioned in ’87 or so, ’88, but he decided to stay and to try and transform it. He didn’t succeed. Then he left.

METTA: Do you think now, and this is of the subject. Do you think that it is transformable?

GRUNEWALD: No. I personally don’t think so because I think the most capable people who would have been able to do it have left and they don’t have any resources left now. They will be in a very difficult position now. They are trying to… I mean they have done some good services over the past two years with this information bulletin. Certainly, until the Gulf War, they produced a lot of very valuable information. It even was a daily.

METTA: I didn’t see.

GRUNEWALD: Well, it was. It was really valuable. You can ask anybody. They’ve all been praising it. But, the organization as a structure, no. Unfortunately, no. I say unfortunately, not, because there are a lot of third world movements — some of worthwhile, some are not, because they are not real movements but some kind of politicians who are not in power but they use it. But certainly, there were a lot of valuable third world inputters whom the whole movement might lose in this respect. Those people are somewhat desperate because their cause is lost. They are talking sincerely about anti-imperialism — not just in the Leninist sense, but about being exploited…

METTA: experiential.

GRUNEWALD: Yes. But anyhow…

METTA: What about the Soviet Peace Committee?

GRUNEWALD: I can’t judge it.

METTA: Because the people I know who tried to work with them sort of threw up their hands and quit. But so…

GRUNEWALD: Yes. But the feeling in Germany… I can only tell you what Gert Greune told me; he was working with them. We had this German-Soviet Peace Weeks over the last three years. We tried to do some reconciliation work, to meet and to discuss. So there were Soviets in Germany and Germans in the Soviet Union. But the feeling was that it was quite difficult to work the Soviet Peace Committee and that even though they have transformed somewhat, they are still stuck in a lot of old structures, and what they will do now, I don’t know. I can’t judge it really. I know that there are some good people. I was not too much involved with the Soviet Union in the last three years. I work in ’87, there at this information meeting, but at no time later, so I have worked with some people I met but not more. I can’t really answer the question.

What I could do is that there are two more experiences that I could try to share. One is, the Hungarian Peace Council. And again, I am not sure when I made the first visit. It was a small delegation. It might have been in ’85 or ’86. We went to Hungary. I was part of the delegation. And we had, at that time, you see the atmosphere in our organization had changed very much. So the persons I went with were also open and had very clear and principled discussion. It was no longer any problem. And so, we were talking much about conscientious objection at that time. They didn’t like it. So what. They were not principally opposing it, but they said it is not our business. In Hungarian society, COs are not recognized and this was true. Because we had so many times been invaded that people believe in defense strongly. Conscientious objection is really isolated. So there was some reasoning at that time, not just being Eastern hard Communists. And we said no, at least you have to discuss it. We are not asking you to say, “Okay. We want everybody to be a C.O.,” but you have to recognize it as a human right. And when we left I told them, that the next time, when we come back, we expect that there will be some change taking place, at least within the organization. And we [asked them] to open up. “Don’t ask us too much.” But it happened. And certainly it was not only us. It was certainly Pax Christi, in some programs with the Hungarians, and other people. But some of them told me privately, but I also was feeling it. Maybe I am still too proud, but I think we influenced them to some extent. We came back two years later and we did it again and the atmosphere had changed already a little bit. And when we were travelling then across Hungary and meeting some other people at the grass roots. They had some local groups. It was interesting that the Hungarian Peace Council was clever enough to open up rather early and even thought they were still being affiliated to the party and of course, being aggressive to other groups, like the Four Six OO at that time and some other. But still trying to be at least, to talk to some of them, and being clever enough to open up some local chapters. I think they were the first one really to do it. I mean, not on paper, but really. And, it was very interesting because always with them this C.O. discussion came out. And I think we influenced them somewhat to ask in ’89 to really support it and to combine the meeting with the Defence Ministry and other ministers and to have an official hearing. The Western Peace Movements were invited. It certainly was also an attempt to cooperate and be acceptable to the new movement which they realized was going to get far. But still, it really was painful, I would say.

METTA: Painful?

GRUNEWALD: Yes, for their constituency, because they are a coalition and still people and many constituents in their own ranks didn’t like them to act on this as positively or as actively. I know there were different opinions with independent groups. Some of them said yes, we acknowledge that they did something. We take the most credit, and of course, they had to be able to take the most credit. I am not disputing this. It was certainly that you had good people there who asked and who were ready to go to prison. And I think that what was good from my point of view was that we got them to do this and to set up this negotiation table or this hearing with the ministers, and at least we could get some influence from our experience. Others said no, clearly they didn’t do anything, or they did it too late. Okay. I leave it at this. But my feeling was that it changed somewhat.

METTA: The church changed too, right?

GRUNEWALD: Yeah, but in Hungary, only very few. They still. The churches are still rather… maybe not hostile, but certainly not positive towards C.O.s. Only very small churches.

METTA: I guess I am confused because I visited some base communities.

GRUNEWALD: Yes, they do. But unfortunately.

METTA: They talk about… Their priest, their bishop or archbishop. I think at the end, that they got a new one and…

GRUNEWALD: He is tolerating. He is tolerating, but they are not really positive. That’s the problem. And that was of course what we had too. Because it was true. We were discussing it first. We discovered it was not only the peace council who didn’t want to talk about it. We had discussions with the church. This was major churches. And they told us “no”. About the Czechoslovakians I could only tell you about one or two persons, I would say. I even can’t give you a real judgment of what the Olof Palme Peace March did in Czechoslovakia and if it was really brought by the Czechoslovakian Peace Council as it was by the East Germans or not. Because I could concentrate only on the East German. I never participated in any part of this march, so I really can’t tell you. But, one person who will certainly be mentioned in some of those interviews was Ivan Fiala. I had met him for a long time — eight years or so. Because he was one of those who was in charge of the contact with the German-speaking People. And I remember quite well when in Marienbad. We discussed about the trial against the — it was a section of the musicians union that was dissident and played jazz. And he was defending it, and said well, it was not at all about jazz. Which was true, of course. But at that time, maybe it was ’85. I’m really not sure about the date. But at about that time middle 80s.

METTA: What was his role?

GRUNEWALD: He was working for the Peace Council. Yes, he was responsible for the contacts with the German-speaking community, as far as I remember. And well, during the late ’80s, he certainly developed and I think it had to do with — he had many contacts. I was only one of them. And also we had some arguments, some discussions, normal discussion. And I was not surprised to hear then that I think it was in ’89, he visited — what was the name of this woman who was in prison?

METTA: A woman? One woman.

GRUNEWALD: I think it was one woman at that time.

METTA: In Czechoslovakia?

GRUNEWALD: Yes. Was arrested. I really don’t remember the name of the group. I could find it early in Disarmament Campaigns. I don’t remember now. I think it’s Helen Marshikova.

METTA: How do you spell it?

GRUNEWALD: I don’t know. You can look in the Disarmament Campaigns. But I think it was in the Winter of ’89, and I don’t remember really, but it certainly was before all those changes. But I learned that he had visited her. He nearly lost his job with the Peace Committee. Of course, she was an enemy of state. But he did. I mean he is certainly one of the examples which was a major change, even more than if you talk about… he was very much part of the new political thinking, of politically thinking. But, because this man’s personal change, I mean taking personal risks, that was much more. So there is one experience I can tell you that there quite an interest. I guess, and I think that also Josef Krgaci.

METTA: Spell it.

GRUNEWALD: Okay. Josef Krgaci, he was the chairman of the Czechoslovakia Peace Committee? Yes. Okay. I mean, he certainly was always in the middle of the road. I think he never was one of the hard-liners. He is now one of the changed but not of the radically changed.

METTA: And he kept his post?

GRUNEWALD: No. He left after some time. But he still plays some role. I’m really careful now, because I’ve met him only some times. And I’m saying that even this person, I can’t tell you what kind of development he took and how deep it was, but my feeling in the discussions with him was that he was also influenced by all of these discussions. Not only with the West German Movement. (our organization, and also other organizations) but also certainly with others.

METTA: Thank you.

GRUNEWALD: You asked me some difficult questions.

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books