Millennials may be familiar with the character ‘Gran’ from a politically subversive children’s reading series called ‘The Magic Key.’
Gran is, to quote the BBC website:
“an energetic, eccentric and wacky grandmother and can be a bit of a rebel. She lives in a cottage in the country and the children like to stay with her. She can be a worry to Mum and is sometimes embarrassing; she often acts as if she is a child herself!”
If my memory serves me right (sorry – books not to hand), Gran represents a maelstrom of HRT-induced late-life-women’s-lib havoc within the extremely dull, politically correct, feminised, lower-middle class British suburbs of the series’ target audience. Gran’s prozac-popping daughter and weak-jawed son-in-law worry about Gran’s influence over their (putatively mutual), progeny while Gran takes the children off on thinly veiled Acid-trips to the Industrial Revolution, Mediaeval England and Switzerland. These tame suburban fantasies (which, I fear, would not motivate the British ten-year-olds of today), never cumulated in brutal murder, erotic climax or suicide bombing.
At some point in my teens, however, I began to realise that there was a more sinister side to the antics of this character who helped children learn to read. Because the sweet old woman with square-rimmed glasses and blue rinse hair is – in fact – the very personification of Margot Honecker.
Margot Honecker was the Minister for Education in Communist East Germany, as well as the philandering wife of that country’s dictator – Erich. ‘The Purple Witch,’ as her subjects called her, was personally responsible for the indoctrination of schoolchildren from 1963 – 1989, and possibly the architect of the Stasi’s programme of forced adoption of children from political dissidents.
Margot’s incredible rise through the feminised power-structure of the German Democratic Republic demands our careful attention in 2016. Once again, men are weak and the state is again strong for women, so we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the sex-driven cronyism which will inevitably ensue.
Margot was born in 1927. As an inter – war child, her socio-biological conditioning would have predisposed her toward promiscuity. She had an absent father, grew up in the most socially turbulent era to that date in European history, lost her mother at 13 and would certainly have seen (and likely been a victim of), the mass rape of German women by Soviet troops. To be clear, this was not the whining of contemporary blue-haired campus-feminists about ‘oh my God, I passed out in fish-net stockings and can’t remember what happened.’ This was a real rape pandemic with women who were actually raped and didn’t have a halo of victimhood to gain from telling people about it on Twitter.
At 22 years old, Margot – now a beautiful telephone operator in Stalin’s newly formed East German puppet state – became a member of the newly formed East German parliament. How?
The Communist Party – most probably the only stable institution Margot had ever known – was run by a mob of jumped up Beta male runts who who couldn’t have previously dreamed of the power and
sex attention they were now getting. Their purpose was not to be clever but to do as they were told by Joseph Stalin.
To look upon the faces of the puppet statesmen Margot served under is to understand that this was truly a cuckolded society; a land of weaklings and morons who couldn’t have swatted a fly without the help of Moscow. In East Germany, real power came from men abroad while the little boys at home fiddled around playing dolls’ houses with the country and promoting their mates. That’s how all supranational blocs function. Needless to say, Margot’s rise through the party ranks was meteoric.
It was on a trip to Moscow to celebrate Stalin’s birthday in 1952 that Margot started an adulterous affair with the rising star Erich Honecker and got pregnant. Honecker’s wife and mother of his children was outraged. She wrote to the country’s leaders telling them to send Margot away. In the infinite wisdom of the country’s leaders, however, it was decided that it was the glittering Margot who should be supported and that it was Mrs. Honecker who – for patriotic reasons – should do the right thing and allow her husband a divorce. After all, Erich’s present wife was a little older than him (although not the full nine years older that his first wife – and former prison warden – had been).
Margot married Erich in 1955, became Minister for Education in 1963, and spent the next 26 years ensuring that schoolchildren could operate machine-guns and quote Lenin (which probably reflects the extent of her own formal education). Erich also rose through the ranks – although, slowly. His talent obviously didn’t match hers (he had been awarded a scholarship to study at the International Lenin school in Moscow). His big break came when he was put in charge of the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and its associate policy of shooting anyone who tried to cross it. In 1976, he became the leader of East Germany’s multi-party democratic State Council – the body which managed the various democratic political parties in the East Germany – and effectively governed the country until 1989.
It was an open secret that, by the end of East Germany’s life, the adulterous impulses of both her and her husband had destroyed their marriage – yet they had become prisoners of their own success, and had to maintain appearances for patriotic reasons. When the Berlin Wall came down, the couple fled to Moscow to avoid trial. Once there, offers of asylum came in from North Korea and Chile (thanks to their daughter’s marriage to a Chilean).
Alas, while holed up in the Chilean embassy, they had to share a room; a situation which may well have contributed to Erich’s final decision to Return to Berlin to stand trial for the various atrocities of ‘his’ regime.
Margot eventually got to Chile. Her daughter’s marriage to the Chilean broke up almost as soon as she arrived. Margot showed little concern for Erich (war-conditioned girls are notoriously flakey and self interested).
“He can look after himself!” she reportedly told her critics.
Erich pulled a sickie, joined her a year later, and died a year after that – in 1994.
Unrepentant to the end, Margot likely spent her last 26 years ruminating on the nastiness of the world which made her the way she was, rather than the sheer accident of her good looks and presence among weaklings which allowed her to perpetuate the nastiness of the way she was into the world.
In fairness – Margot was almost certainly the product of sexually incontinent men who were unable to slap her down before her delusions of power and competence got out of hand. Water takes the shape of its container.
Yesterday, at Margot’s funeral in Chile, her coffin was draped with the flag of the GDR, the Auferstanden aus Ruinen played, and the body of the poor traumatised old bat finally laid to rest. Let us hope that her soul will finally follow her to that quiet place in the sun – so far in space and time from its cold, dark origins.
Those who don’t walk shall remain prisoners. Those who do laugh at the wardens. Erich and Margot never escaped, but I discovered today that Alex Brychta – who illustrates the Magic Key series – escaped the Prague Spring in 1968.
I am currently recovering from a hangover in Malta and haven’t really the time or resources at hand to do subjects like Gran and the GDR justice here. Amazingly, there are people who remember Margot fondly – not least those of us bought up on The Magic Key. So let’s finish with a bit of the old oom-pah for Ostalgie’s sake!