Friday, August 20, 2010

1972: German Democratic Republic Welcomes Angela Davis

In 1972, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) welcomed Communist leader Angela Yvonne Davis. The visit came just after she was acquitted of murder and kidnapping, defeating an FBI frame-up in court.

The well known Communist Party USA member, and famous Professor of Feminist Philosophy was given an honorary degree from Karl Marx University. Earlier, a "World Conference on the Example of Angela Davis" had been held in West Germany, despite repression from the government.

In the U.S. she had been fired from her position as a professor at the University of California - Los Angeles. At the time, California law banned members of the Communist Party from holding teaching positions at public schools or Universities.

Ronald Reagen, then governor of California, had said he supported the death penalty for Davis if she was convicted. However, the charges were defeated, and two months later, Davis was welcomed in the Socialist Bloc as a hero, dubbed "America's Minister of Education" by a popular East German song.

The businessmen of death

want to kill you, Comrade Angela.

But you will be free and will

become America's minister of education.

- Pop Song from the German Democratic Republic

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