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January 21, 1992 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-21

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Page 2-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, January 21, 1992
Court convicts
border guards for
Berlin Wall killing

BERLIN (AP) - A Berlin court
yesterday convicted two former
East German border guards of the
last killing at the Berlin Wall,
saying the Nazi era had proved that
some orders must simply be refused.
It was the first prosecution of
East German soldiers for carrying
out the internationally condemned
shoot-to-kill commands aimed at
people fleeing to the West.
The men, and two colleagues
who were acquitted, had argued they
were only following orders of the
since fallen Communist regime.
But Chief Judge Theodor Seidel
called the killing of 20-year-old
Chris Gueffroy a crime "similar to
an execution."
Seidel said the injustice of the
Nazi regime had shown Germans
there are some laws that must not
be followed.
"There is a central area of justice
which no law can encroach upon," he
said. "The legal maxim 'whoever
flees will be shot to death' deserves
no obedience."
Gueffroy, who died Feb. 5, 1989,
was the last person slain attempting
to escape Communist East Germany.
Nine months later, anti-Communist
protesters breached the Berlin Wall,
and the Germanys reunited in
October 1990.
The convictions are likely to en-
courage prosecutors, who are inves-
tigating hundreds of former

Communist officials for their roles
in the killings of more than 200
people fleeing to the West.
But many Germans criticized the
4 1/2-month trial as unfairly sin-
gling out four young guards when
former East German leader Erich
Honecker and other top-ranking
Communists remain free. Honecker,
79, has been charged in four deaths,
but he has been given refuge at the
Chilean Embassy in Moscow.
Only one of the former guards,
Ingo Heinrich received a prison
sentence, 3 1/2 years for manslaugh-
ter. He fired the bullet that pierced
Gueffroy's heart.
Heinrich shook his head when he
heard the ruling from the Berlin
Regional Court. He appeared angry
and dismayed.
"Heinrich snuffed out a human
life, only because that person
wanted to leave his country without
the permission of the authorities,"
the chief judge said.
A second guard, Andreas
Kuehnpast, was convicted of at-
tempted manslaughter and given a
two-year suspended sentence. Two
other former guards, Mike Schmidt
and Peter Schmett, were acquitted.
Defense attorneys insisted the
young men were following legiti-
mate orders of a sovereign state
when three of them opened fire on
Gueffroy and a friend trying to flee
to West Berlin.




Continued from page 1
crime. And we didn't think about
drug abuse," he said.
Archer addressed King's sacri-
fices during the civil rights move-
ment of the 1960s, saying students
should continue their studies so
they can make contributions for fu-
ture movements.
He spoke of the importance of
voting and of individual advance-
ment. "The next time you visit a
hotel, I want you to remember that
that you're not walking .in with a
mop ... You don't have to make any
beds," he said.
In his closing remarks, Archer
again pointed to education and
stressed self-belief as a factors in
movements like of the civil rights
More than 500 gathered in and
around Hale Auditorium to hear
Benjamin Hooks, executive direc-
tor of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored Peo-
ple, who filled in for the ill-struck
ABC anchor Carole Simpson.
Hooks delivered a stirring
speech which celebrated his late
friend King.

He spoke of one evening in 1968
when he and a friend were return-
ing home from the funeral of a
friend. They thought they could go
see King speak in Memphis, Tenn.,
since he had made the effort to be in
their town.
Although it was a stormy
night, more than 1,500 people at-
tended what would be King's last
public address.
"When Dr. King got up to speak
that night ... never in all of the
years that I'd heard him had I even
heard him speak with such ...
power, passion ... Dr. King spoke
until tears started rolling down
his face," Hooks said.
Hooks said that despite King's
dream, "Blacks are not catching up.
They're falling behind. That's the
state of our existence."
He spoke of problems like
Black-on-Black homicide - the
leading cause of death among Black
men - and young Black women
having babies without fathers to
care for them.
Then he spoke of fighting crime
and prejudice. "We have to deal
with the facts and stop making ex-
cuses," he said.
Like Archer, he said voting,

striving for excellence, and pro-
moting understanding were
In his closing remarks, Hooks
aroused the audience with a story
of Blacks and whites working to-
gether in 1963 Mississippi after
the funeral of Medgar Evers, the
first Black student at the Univer-
sity of Mississippi.
Some let a teardrop or two roll
down their cheeks.
University alumnus Jennifer
Goldfarb said Hooks moved her.
"We originally wanted to hear Ca-
role Simpson speak and found out
five minutes before we came that
she was being replaced by him," she
But the replacement did not
matter to Goldfarb. "I don't regret
coming at all. I went here four
years and never went to and MLK
Day events. But if this is any repre-
sentation of it, I really regret not
having gone in the past," she said.
Doris Sanford, one of the coor-
dinators who brought Hooks to the
University, said she regretted
Simpson could not make it but was
thrilled Hooks could make it in
less than a 24-hour notice.
Simpson will still speak at the

LSA commencement in May.
Maulana Karenga, a professor of
Black studies from the University
of California at Long Beach, closed
the day with his keynote address on
"King and the Challenge of His-
tory: Toward the Just and Good
In an hour-long oration that
prompted frequent bursts of ap-
plause from the nearly-full Rack-
ham auditorium, Karenga discussed
King's vision in an historical con-
text and its relevance today.
Karenga praised the universality
of King's vision. He said the strug-
gle of the Black people inspired the
struggles of other peoples both in
the United States and worldwide.
"King's message is both partic-
ular and universal. He rises up and
speaks to African Americans but he
also speaks to the whole world,"
Karenga said.
However, Karenga added that
King's ideas must be placed in the
context of his time and of other
Black thought. He cited as an ex-
ample Malcolm X's challenge to
King's philosophy of non-violent
struggle as an example of what he
called a productive disagreement
between Black leaders.



Continued from page 1
Dixon said he thinks the gov-
ernment chose the wrong day to
celebrate King's accomplishments.
"As far as the University and
the U.S. as a whole, I think it's sad

the holiday has to be on a Monday
so people can have a three day
weekend instead of having it on his
actual birthday," Dixon said.
"Most of the people walking
around right now don't know the
significance of this day. Most peo-
ple see it as simply that - a holi-
day," Dixon said.


Continued from page 1
Panelist and Pacific Radio jour-
nalist Phyllis Bennis said the Iraqis
are not the only group suffering af-
ter the war. Bennis said, "People of
color pay the greatest price."
She said social service cutbacks
has had a great impact on many re-
turning veterans and noted that peo-
ple of color are experiencing more
joblessness than others.
Bennis added that she questions
the U.S. condemnation of the Iraqi

occupation of Kuwait, while it sup-
ports the Israeli occupation of the
Arab lands. Bennis also said she
doesn't believe a solution to the Is-
raeli-Palestinian conflict will ma-
terialize from current peace negoti-
ations. "I think it will come even-
tually," Bennis said.
Dr. Norman Finkelstein, a pan-
elist and political science professor
at Brooklyn College, said he is not
so optimistic.
As long as the United States and
Israel believe the Israeli occupation
is profitable, it will continue, he

Continued from page 1
working all weekend to get it run-
ning as soon as possible - we're
doing our best," she said.
"We are also extending the
hours that other centers are open to
reduce the inconvenience. For-
tunately, it has happened over a
weekend and early in the term, so I
suppose it could have been worse,"
she added.
The flooded room contained the
file servers, which control and
maintain all the software used in
Angell Hall as well as the
Michigan Terminal System net-
work, which links Angell Hall's
terminals to the rest of the
For 40 minutes the water

gushed out of the pipe and flowed
into the main floor of the comput-
ing center, submerging cable chan-
nels and leaving large areas of the
center under water. The hallway
next to the computing center and
two of Angell Hall's auditoriums
were also affected before the flow
could be stopped.
Jane Baker, an ITD employee,
pointed out that this was the first
time this computing center had
been shut down since it was opened
in May 1989.
She blamed the extremely cold
overnight temperatures for the
broken pipe.
But Baker also admitted the
timing could have been worse.
"It's lucky that this did not happen
at the end of term - it would have
been a nightmare."

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Continued from page 1
"AIDS affects African Amer-
icans and other minorities dispro-
portionately," said Rachel Pinsky,
an LSA sophomore, explaining
ACT-UP's participation in' the
The groups represented in the
rally encouraged many par-
"The diversity of opinions rep-
resented shows that we can all be
individual and still be at peace,"

said Leah McRae, an LSA first-year
"And if not peace, then coopera-
tion," added LSA first-year stu-
dent Jodi Luster.
While many University stu-
dents didn't attend the rally, sev-
eral hundred from local high
schools did.
Both McRae and Luster were
among the 50 volunteers in the
Office of Minority Affairs pro-
gram to bring more than 200 stu-
dents from Ann Arbor and Detroit
area high schools to participate in
the day's events.


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