East Germany: Trading Places

Trading Places As Egon Krenz succeeds the deposed Honecker, he seems willing to tinker with the system but not revamp it. Will that be enough?

Vacationing in the northern industrial city of Rostock last month, Egon Krenz decided to attend a soccer match. The outing may have been business as much as pleasure: as the Politburo member who handled youth affairs, Krenz also oversaw the country's sports programs. Soon after Krenz settled into his seat, an announcement blared over the public address system that the politician was in the stadium. Cheers and applause? Hardly. The fans booed lustily.

Those jeers apparently never reached East Berlin. Last week party elders demonstrated just how out of touch they are with the masses by awarding Krenz the country's top...

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