Every Monday evening in Dresden, the capital of the the eastern German state of Saxony, thousands gather in front of the city's Opera House mostly in protest of the German government's refugee policies.
However, recently there are not only German flags being waved, also, somewhat surprisingly, there are plenty of Russian tricolors as well. There are lots of banners on display clearly signaling that the Dresdeners would gladly exchange their Chancellor Angela Merkel for Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the German Die Welt correspondent Michael Pilz.
Among most popular are: “Peace with Russia — No More War in Europe” and “1945: The Russians Are Coming — 2015: Russians, Please Come.”
Another popular chant is “Putin – to Berlin, Merkel – to Siberia”. As the newspaper explains, the slogan reveals not only the political preferences of the Saxonians, but the former place of work of the Russian president.
However, the relationship between Russia and Saxony was not always very friendly. Back in the times of the German Democratic Republic (1949-1990), commonly known as Eastern Germany, the Saxonians did not favor the Soviet Union, which was considered the “occupying power.”
Back in 1979 one Dresdener reportedly sent a letter to Eastern Germany TV, saying that no one can “make Russians out of Germans. Germany will always remain German.” The Soviets were then denounced as “colonialists” and “subhuman,” and the government of Eastern Germany – as a Soviet sycophant.
The situation changed only when Mikhail Gorbachev, who accelerated the fall of the Berlin Wall, came to power back in 1985.
However, nowadays many in the streets, the newspaper says, plead for President Putin to come in and save the Saxonians from political chaos, the refugee influx and their “corrupt, anti-popular government.”