As can be seen in this photograph, delegates to the Special Green Party Conference in 1986 expressed their pacifist stance by evoking the biblical quotation “swords to ploughshares” (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3), which they supplemented with the words “in West and East,” and by demanding unilateral disarmament. The corresponding symbol (seen here on the balloons) was a stylized image of Yevgeny Vuchetich’s bronze sculpture Swords to Ploughshares, which the Soviet Union had given to the United Nations in 1959. Initially, the SED leadership used the symbol as a way of dressing up its so-called peace policy. At the beginning of the 1980s, however, the church-based oppositional peace movement in the GDR appropriated both the motto and the symbol. In doing so, they emphasized the Christian-ethical roots of their movement in order to expose the dishonesty of the SED’s peace rhetoric. The use of this symbolism by the West German Greens points to their close ties with the GDR opposition.

Special Party Conference of the Greens (1986)


Source: The Greens in a spcial party conference, 1986. Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Fotodienst 3 – 1986/ no. 2184. Photo: IN-Press/dpa.

Courtesy of the German Information Center