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Germany

Berlin to Name Street After 1968 Revolutionary Dutschke

A court in Berlin has given permission for the city to name a street after one of Germany's most famous student revolutionaries, Rudi Dutschke, 40 years after his attempted assassination.

Left-wing student revolutionary Rudi Dutschke

Dutschke will be remembered with a street sign in Berlin

The court ruling means that part of Kochstrasse in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg can be named after Dutschke. The re-naming had been the subject of protracted legal debate, as publisher Axel Springer AG, which has its headquarters on Kochstrasse, objected to the plan.

In 1968, at the height of Germany's student movement, various Springer publications called on readers to "eliminate the trouble-makers" and "stop the terror of the young Reds." When Dutschke was shot in the head and chest on April 11, 1968, his followers demonstrated outside the Springer building, as they deemed the company partially responsible for the attack.

Dutschke died 11 years later as a result of complications from the injuries he sustained in the 1968 shooting by a house painter with alleged right-wing sympathies.

Court rules against Springer

Lawyers for Springer argued that naming a street after Dutschke would signal acceptance of crimes committed by some of the leftist student revolutionaries he came to represent.

Rudi Dutschke's abandoned bicycle following his shooting on April 11, 1968 (left) and bicycles left in the same street 40 years later in remembrance

Rudi Dutschke's abandoned bicycle following his shooting on April 11, 1968, inspired a memorial 40 years later in the same spot

The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court, however, ruled on Tuesday, April 22, that Springer's rights were not being infringed upon by the decision to rename part of the street.

Dutschke's life and legacy were remembered earlier this month on the 40th anniversary of the shooting outside a pharmacy on Kurfuerstendamm, where he had cycled to buy medicine for his baby son. Hundreds of Germans honored the student leader by placing bicycles across the busy street in the western part of Berlin.

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