Germany: We Are All Talking More

Amid euphoria and apprehension, a school asks for a new name and gears up for a changing curriculum

The Felix Dzerzhinsky School in Erkner, a suburb of East Berlin, is named after a Russian of Polish descent who founded the dreaded Cheka, the forerunner of the Soviet KGB, in 1917. Two months ago, half a year after the Berlin Wall fell, the teachers asked the town council to drop the name. They are still awaiting action, but they are patient and confident -- with some reservations. "It would not be proper to ignore our entire history," says Barbel Dudelitz, an English-language teacher who has yet to take down portraits of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in her classroom.


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