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Germany commemorates 1953 workers' uprising

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is marking the anniversary of a failed worker-led uprising against East Germany's communist rulers that was crushed by Soviet tanks.

Lawmakers in Germany's parliament said Thursday that the 1953 uprising was an early cry for freedom from eastern Europe and for German reunification.

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer says the revolt helped lay the foundation for "not unity alone, but a unity in freedom."

Overall, more than 1 million people took part in some five days of pro-democracy unrest. Historians estimate that some 125 protesters were killed — shot or crushed by tanks — and as many as 15,000 arrested.

The uprising peaked on June 17, with street battles in East Berlin between the workers and Soviet troops and East German police.

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