Here is the latest about Katarina Witt.
Figure skater Katarina Witt triggers controversy with TV show
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
BERLIN (AP) - Figure skater Katarina Witt has come under fire for using symbols from the former socialist East Germany's youth organization to publicize her new television show.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist reportedly wore a blouse from the youth organization FDJ, or Free Democratic Youth, on the show. Television station RTL denies this, saying the clothing was only used to publicize the show.
German politician Guenter Nooke, once part of the resistance movement against the socialist government, has called for a ban on symbols from the German Democratic Republic being shown on television.
"When figure skater Katarina Witt wears a FDJ blouse on television, it represents symbols of an organization hostile to the constitution," Nooke said.
Nooke called it illegal, saying he could imagine the day coming when a program showed normal people wearing Hitler Youth clothing.
West Germany did put a law on the books in the 1950s, during the height of the Cold War, forbidding FDJ symbols. But in recent years, a craze for East German things has swept the country. Younger Germans can be seen on the streets wearing bright blue FDJ T-shirts with its radiating sun.
Germany has been hit by a trend called "Ostalgie," a word derived from mixing German words for east and nostalgia. Everything from the country's sparkling wine called Rottkaeppchen (Red Riding Hood) to the cute man who turned green or red in traffic lights - used as anything from key chains to magnets - have become fashionable.
The trend was triggered in part by the recent film Goodbye Lenin, one of the country's top 10 selling films of all time.
Witt's show is called the "DDR show" after the German acronym for the socialist state. It promises to be a "time trip" through the former country.
Many attribute the new fondness for the former East Germany to a backlash against the early days of German unification. Everything from the west was considered superior, with all things East German vanishing overnight.
"For a long time people suppressed their fond memories. Now people are finally talking about them," said Witt, who won her 1984 and 1988 Olympic golds for the former East Germany.
"Not everything was great, but we had a lot to laugh about too."
© Copyright 2003 The Canadian Press