EAST GERMANY: Birthday Present

Lenin had his Leningrad and Stalin his Stalingrad. Last week Karl Marx got his grad, with a German accent. To celebrate the 135th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth, East Germany's Red rulers bestowed a dubious blessing on the smoke-begrimed industrial city of Chemnitz (pop. 550,-ooo), admitting as they did so that there was "great opposition." Henceforth, 800-year-old Chemnitz would be known as Karl-Marx-Stadt.

This was not all. Famed Leipzig University (founded 1409) was rechristened Karl Marx University, and the Order of Karl Marx was established as the highest East German decoration (paralleling Russia's Order of Lenin).

For the burghers of Chemnitz,...

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