Hans Sinn (German unification), 1994

Hans Sinn — conversation notes April 22, 1994
Sinn is a German-born Canadian living in Perth, Ontario and active in the NDP. His friend is Herbert Ammon, living in W. Berlin, whose daughter Ruth came and stayed six or eight months with me after finishing high school.

(He doesn’t know where Ebenhausen is.)

Re Coventry END meeting and reunification.

No one actually proposed reunification. Several people (he + Ammon and Peter Brandt + Sabata, Michnik, and Dienstbier) had come up with the same idea independently: a peace treaty and confederation of the two states. This would have prevented reunification, but the left prevented this, claiming that it was a ploy to actually get reunification of the old Germany.

The idea had been picked up by some people from East Germany — Havemann (who wrote a letter to Brezhnev proposing it, and was under house arrest for doing so in 1981). This initiative gave rise to the Berlin Appeal (which was signed in Britain in 1982). Havemann and Eppelman wrote the Berlin Appeal but it went no further. When Sinn heard about it he went to Germany to pick up the ball. Eppelman became the minister of Defence in the new goverment of E. Germany. He is now a member of parliament —Christian Dem.

There was a workshop in Coventry, and Ammon spoke. Nothing flowed from it.

Hans never heard the Maslennikov story. Did hear that there were two Germans who blocked the order of Honecker to crush the demonstrations in Leipsig. One of them was the guy who replaced Honecker when he stepped down (or was pushed aside —whatever).

Now Hans is working with East German church group promoting the idea of a professional peace corps. Elise Boulding is promoting the same idea. It has a 50-50 chance of succeeding now. Is moving fast. He is going there soon. Will write us afterwards, maybe.

Says I should call the Ammons about my questions.

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