Thomas Welz

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Thomas Welz, 2012 Thomas Welz 2012 (f).jpg
Thomas Welz, 2012

Thomas Welz (born 1957 as Thomas Berndt in Bad Berka) grew up in the suburbs of Berlin. As head of the information department, he was editor and author of several illegal samizdat publications with Rainer Eppelmann of the peace circle of the East Berlin Samariterkirche (Church of the Good Samaritan) in Berlin-Friedrichshain. Many of them became the mouthpiece of the East German civil rights movement, including publications like "Shalom", "Wegzehrung" and "Wendezeit", one of the first publications, in where term "Wende" was used. During his military service in the NVA, Thomas Welz was detained for five months from October 1978 in the infamous military prison in Schwedt.

Bad Berka Place in Thuringia, Germany

Bad Berka is a German city, situated in the south of Weimar region in the state of Thuringia. With its almost 8,000 inhabitants Bad Berka is the second biggest city in Weimarer Land district. The river flowing through the city, which is embedded in new red sandstone, is called Ilm. Since 1 December 2008, the city has incorporated the former municipality of Gutendorf.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Samizdat key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader

Samizdat was a form of dissident activity across the Eastern Bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade official Soviet censorship was fraught with danger, as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials. Vladimir Bukovsky summarized it as follows: "Samizdat: I write it myself, edit it myself, censor it myself, publish it myself, distribute it myself, and spend jail time for it myself."

Welz, active in various initiatives and ad hoc groups of the East German opposition and the peace movement was co-founder of the oppositional political group Democratic Awakening in 1989. After German reunification in 1990, he was active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany. He is married and has two sons. He lives in Berlin.

Peaceful Revolution 1989-1990 process disestablishing the GDR

The Peaceful Revolution was the process of sociopolitical change that led to the end of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in the German Democratic Republic and the transition to a parliamentary democracy which enabled the reunification of Germany. This turning point was wholly created through the violence-free initiatives, protests, and successful demonstrations, which decisively occurred between the local elections held in May 1989 and the GDR's first free parliamentary election in March 1990.

Democratic Awakening political party

Democratic Awakening was an East German political movement and political party that was active during the Fall of Communism and in the period leading up to the German reunification. While it was a relatively minor party, it took part in the first democratically elected government in East Germany in 1990, and is especially known because future Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel started her political career within the party.

German reunification process in 1990 in which East and West Germany once again became one country

The German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany to form the reunited nation of Germany, and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz (constitution) Article 23. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity, celebrated on 3 October. Following German reunification, Berlin was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.

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Ehrhart Neubert is a retired German Evangelical minister and theologian.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

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