Die Wand

During the years of the Cold War, tensions between the politically democratic world and fearing the spread of Communism was an intense problem that occurred after World War II. Problems arose at even higher numbers within East Berlin. People inside the boarder began spying on their family and friends. The fight to remove oneself from the violently communistic society was an extreme struggle, especially in the 1970s and the 1980s. The most interesting piece of information that was given though this documentary was the part where it talked about how people would gather inside churches to talk about reform. Reform not only about the political ideas, but the environmental issues that was very important to them. The amount of pollution was in extremely high numbers and that was something they wished to change.

I thought this was incredibly important, not because of the things they wished to change, but in ways they were able to meet amongst themselves and not fear being stopped or attacked by the Stazi because they were in a church. I did not expect this being a place free of governmental officials or even having churches (27:40). In Russia during the Soviet rule, religion was not allowed because there is nothing higher than the leader of the country. So, this surprised me that in such a strict society based on distrust, people were allowed to still have religious beliefs. This of course is a small section of the history of the city, but it is still incredibly interesting nonetheless.

It was incredibly worrisome for many of those that had been living in conditions, fearing for someone to either report that they had had unsympathetic views against the East German government. During a time where things were supposed to be equal for people economically, it caused an extreme divide socially. People were wary of finding friends in general, because anything said could be reported to the authorities. People had become isolated from the people within their communities, causing themselves to lose a important function in their daily lives.

In the beginning of the documentary, they talk about how things had changed not because of politicians, but through the people that lived in East Berlin. But later on in the film, they talk about how things started to change because of the words spoken by John F. Kennedy and later meetings between future presidents/vice presidents of the United States and Gorbachev. Of course it does show a lot of isolated incidences, such as the shooting of one of the Stazi patrol officers in order for a family to escape, which definitely changed a lot of things in the move towards trying to unify not only East and West Berlin but the reunification of Germany. The lack of power for many/all of the citizens caused a lot of personal turmoil, as we had seen even in one of the documentaries from last term. Those were some of the things I had thought about while watching this documentary. It was a moving piece where people needed to be able to openly choose what kind of political system their country would be. People may have stayed or more may have moved into East Berlin if the measures that had been taken were not ones by force. It's just interesting to think about the “what ifs” in relation to a possible future if things had become even more tension filled during the Cold War or if East Berlin and East Germany had succeeded in creating a fully functional communistic society.

ger/102/2012/winter/julian_connell_-_the_wall.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/14 02:54 by krconnell
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