Soviet, E. German Shoppers Clash

From Reuters

Police had to stop fighting between East German and Soviet women last month after the Russians went on a pre-Christmas shopping spree, stripping store shelves in an East German town, the newspaper Bild said.

In a report made available Wednesday ahead of publication, Bild said that some women were injured in the fighting at Neustrelitz, 50 miles north of East Berlin, where it said a large contingent of Soviet troops is based.

The paper quoted a witness as saying local residents had been angry because the Soviet women "had been buying all types of clothing, winter coats, belts, shoes, gloves and food in such large quantities that many local shops were sold out."

"A few dozen East German housewives came out of the shops empty-handed, so they attacked the heavily laden Russian women with their hands and their (shopping) bags," the witness told Bild.

The tabloid paper said the local Soviet garrison commandant had apologized to the local authorities in Neustrelitz and told Russians based in the area to exercise more self-control while shopping.

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