New York Times reporter Katrin Bennhold’s front-page story Wednesday commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the continuing conflict between the former East and West Germany, “Still Chipping Away at a Wall Demolished a Generation Ago,” contained an incredibly ignorant paragraph about the freedoms of East German women. But it's far from the worst Times story celebrating the former East Germany.
Eastern women, who were part of the work force and with free child care, were more emancipated than their western sisters, and proved to be more mobile than their male counterparts. Some eastern villages now have two or three men for every woman -- the kind of ratio one otherwise finds near the Arctic Circle, demographers say.
Bennhold’s is not even the worst story the paper has run on the advantages of East German communism. From December 2012, an Arts profile of the director of Barbara, set in Communist East Germany, was headlined: "Summoning Halcyon Days Of Failed Ideals."
An October 2008 book review carried the astounding title "East Germany Had Its Charms, Crushed by Capitalism." A headline reading "Nazi Germany Had Its Charms, Crushed by Allies" is an unlikely prospect for the Times to run.
This is the same paper that ran this infamous headline in February 1992 over a story on the last Soviet political prisoners being released: "A Gulag Breeds Rage, Yes, but Also Serenity." Whitewashing the crimes of International Communism, as in its Red Century series from last year, is a recurring bad habit at the paper.