Sunday, 11 June 2017

Margot Honecker The Purple Witch of the East

Post aus Chile  ISBN 978-3-360-51041-9
Schumann, Frank; Honecker, Margot. edition ost. Kindle Edition.
I bought this book as part of a background research for a planned Cold War novel and as a follow-up to Erich Honecker’s biography. I was really excited by the prospect of finding a glimpse of the real Mr stony-faced Honecker, a wisp of humanity and humility in the memoirs of his wife Margot, mellowed maybe by all the years in Chilean exile? I didn’t hope for much. A sideline maybe, a small sign of redemption to show me that there actually were two humans under that impenetrable ideological crust. No such luck!

This exchange between Frank Schumann and Margot Honecker is nothing but an embarrassing whitewash attempt for an utterly rotten and failed state, its architects and hangers-on; the tedious correspondence between two old hard-line Marxist/Leninists, counting the mourners at the funerals of their ever dwindling numbers, looking for an angle to present their long lost cause to another publisher. Schumann at least can see the irony in it. As for Margot, she went down fighting windmills to the end. “Wir haben von unseren Gegnern kein Entgegenkommen zu erwarten.” We can’t expect any favours from our enemies. Sadly, she gave none and got none back.

Margot Honecker was sometimes called the purple witch because of her tinted hair. She died May 6, 2016 in Santiago. She never accepted any blame for her or her husband's part in the East German state sponsored killings of "escapees" or the Stasi inflicted torment of families separated by the wall.