The Germanys Modrow's Last Hours in Power

In another day, the East German Prime Minister might have been hailed as a Gorbachev. But who said history was fair?

Hans Modrow, white-haired and weary, frowned at the legislators of the East German parliament last week and said, "I must say this plainly so it is clear which side has been pressing for hectic haste and spreading rumors. My government is neither ready nor empowered to enter a currency union with West Germany . . . You cannot rush it." The outgoing Communist Prime Minister went on to complain of West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's sluggishness in guaranteeing Polish borders, and his insistence that a united Germany remain in NATO. "No German state has the right to ignore history," he said.

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