Residents Vote to Rename Street in Honor of Protest Leader | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 22.01.2007
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Germany

Residents Vote to Rename Street in Honor of Protest Leader

Residents of a Berlin district voted in a referendum to rename a street after Rudi Dutschke, a controversial student protest leader in the 1960s.

The old sparring partners of Axel Springer and Rudi Dutschke are reunited

The old sparring partners of Axel Springer and Rudi Dutschke are reunited

Opposition Christian Democrats had objected to the local assembly in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg changing the name of part of Kochstrasse (Koch Street) to Rudi-Dutschke-Strasse.

Dutschke, a prominent left-wing student leader during one of the most turbulent periods in West German history, died in 1979 from the belated affects of a would-be assassin's bullet in April 1968.

The local assembly approved a motion by the Green and Left parties in August 2005 calling for the change in the street's name. But the Christian Democrats collected 10,000 signatures in a petition to force a referendum on the issue.

Majority vote leads to name change

Rudi Dutschke

Dutschke was a controversial figure

Some 16.6 percent of the 182,000 eligible voters took part in the ballot, 1.6 per cent more than the 15 percent needed for it to be valid. A majority of 57.1 per cent voted in favor of the name change, local officials said.

One of the most vocal opponents of the student leader at the time was Germany's powerful Axel Springer media concern, whose offices face onto the street. Ironically, Rudi Dutschke Street now intersects a road named after the deceased press baron.

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