The Corner

Waffengebrauchsbestimmung

The widow of Erich Honecker, last ruler of Communist East Germany, has been talking to the press. She has no regrets.

“For me the GDR was my life,” she said in the German ARD television documentary. “It’s a tragedy that that country no longer exists.”

She does, though, have a few grumbles.

She also expressed irritation about her pension of 1,500 euros (£1,249; $2,000) a month from today’s unified German state, calling it “outrageously small.”

What about the 136 people killed while trying to escape over the Berlin Wall?

[Mrs. Honecker] denied yesterday there was an official shoot-to-kill policy on the inner-German border, describing it as a Waffengebrauchsbestimmung – a “provision for the use of a weapon.”

Well, that puts things in a new light.

In all fairness, Mrs. Honecker does allow that, yes, “Mistakes were made.” (Same link.)

I await with interest the future reminiscences of Mrs. Kim Jong Il.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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