Made in Germany (46:53)

I have been taught about the Berlin Wall countless times, we even watched a documentary similar to this one in our first term of German, and each different time I am shown new knowledge about the wall, my insights, interpretations, and understanding always change. For example, something new that I never thought about in the past is that the wall, in a way, reminds me very much of concentration camps. Yes, there are very major differences, but the overall rough concept of the two things is very similar in some aspects. The Stasi have security cameras set up everywhere and they spy on you (22:54). In concentration camps, one was ALWAYS being watched by the Nazi’s, and if people misbehaved in even the slightest way, or tried to escape, they were punished. Of course, in Nazi Germany the punishment was more severe than behind the Berlin Walls, however, the fact that people were being punished for even the smallest of reasons in both cases is what makes them similar. Comparing the Berlin Wall to a concentration camp also helped me realize something else. I had always thought of these people as citizens, but it wasn’t until the video explained in great detail how the wall was built did I realize that these people were not citizens. They were prisoners. After all, why else would such great measures like dogs, guards, and un-climbable concrete walls be so carefully made (18:10). Not only this, but some of the prisoners (that were referred to as citizens) were actually arrested and put into jail, labeling them as a more traditional type of prisoner. Despite the negative reactions this film gave me, I also had some positive ones. The one that sticks out in my mind most is the church. I am not a particularly religious person myself, though; it was still very powerful to me to see the effects the church had on the people. It is explained in the film that the entire reason the church was built was to prove that churches were no longer needed in a socialist society (27:52). It had the opposite effect. The way that everyone came together and had a place where they could feel safe even if it was just for a little while really moved me. I could only imagine the feeling of relief of being protected from the hardships of the inside of the Berlin Wall, even if it was only for a few hours. I can also imagine the hopeful feeling people got. That church was able to keep so many people going, it gave them inspiration, protection, and helped them bond as a community. It is true that they were still spied on; however, there was not much the Stasi could do if they saw something they did not like. I believe this is another source of inspiration, because the people knew very well that they were being watched, however, in a way they got to have the last laugh like “I am doing something you don’t like and there is nothing you can do about it.”

By: Mary Ann Meussling Word Count: 519

ger/102/2012/winter/mary_ann_meussling_-_the_wall.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/14 00:05 by memeussling
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