Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Klaus Ehrler

Klaus Ehrler (1930 - 2005) was a German historian and peace activist.
Ehrler came from an educated middle class, Christian family in Leipzig. His father was a teacher; his mother came from a family of teachers. His childhood was in the period of National Socialism. Still a schoolboy, he already practiced in passive resistance. When having to perform military type sports at school, he would appear with a bandaged forearm and was allowed to sit and watch. In field exercises in the forest, would loose contact with the troops and occasionally returned prematurely. The squad leader was not pleased with this unpatriotic behaviour and in the summer of 1942, Klaus and a friend were disgraced before the whole team. From his Evakuierungsort Nossen (place of evacuation named Nossen) Klaus Ehler witnessed Dresden burn.
After the liberation of Germany from Nazism, he worked as a roofer helper before finishing school and taking up university studies. As a student in the 1950s he was active against the rearmament and against the nuclear policy of the Adenauer-Government and soon belonged to the inner circle of the student opposition.
In an obituary upon his death Dieter wrote:
"Ehrler played a key role at the UN (Cooperation Democratic NGOs). As a historian in Germany having to deal with professional disqualification [because of his political stance], he remained incorruptible in matters of peace."
Ehrler was married and lived in the eastern part of Berlin since 1995.

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