Martin Luther King and the surprising connection to the GDR
On 28 August 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to a cheering crowd in Washington D.C. Today, 80 years later, we commemorate this historic moment, which had a decisive impact on the civil rights movement in the USA and beyond. To mark this important anniversary, we would like to highlight a book that sheds light on the lesser-known connection between Martin Luther King and the GDR.
Points of contact between Martin Luther King and the GDR: A relationship analysis
The interaction between Martin Luther King and the GDR may seem unexpected at first glance. However, the empirically based study “I have a dream” by Dr Eva Werner impressively illuminates the many points of contact between the American civil rights activist and the socialist state.
The study shows how the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) decided on the public thematisation of Martin Luther King. While the CDU, as a Christian bloc party, often acted as a representative of state interests, it played a pioneering role in the dissemination of King’s literature. These publications helped to strengthen the churches as well as the peace and civil rights movement, which in turn undermined parts of the state system.
A look behind the scenes
The connection between Martin Luther King and the GDR has often been overlooked in the past. This book offers a detailed analysis of the role that church institutions played in the reception of King’s ideas. The study is of particular interest to church workers and supporters of Martin Luther King. At the same time, it lays the foundation for further research into the life and work of this important American civil rights activist.