While The Wall Was Standing…

To me, it was interesting to note how many people didn’t know they were being watched by the Stazi. We learned from the movies we watched last term that somewhere around 1/3 of the population were serving as spies for the secret police, but it’s still awe-inspiring, and hard to believe. It was crazy to learn that people were placed on watch lists just because of what kind of music they liked. Just like the boy who put Woodstock festival posters on his bedroom wall, he later learned that the Stazi set up his whole adult life for failure. They had plans to sabotage his chances of ever getting into a university and thus from ever getting a good job, as well as making sure his intimate life was as bad as it could be (21:00). While this man was digging out his own files, it was noted that there were tons and tons of files on about 1/3 of the population as well (24:00). As always, the method the Stazi and the border patrol were instructed to use were just unbelievable! For instance, when people were injured from trying to escape over the wall into West Germany, they were to be taken out of the public’s view, but not to be helped or rushed to medical attention (16:00). The interrogation sessions of political prisoners were psychologically damaging to those who had to endure the long hours of endless questioning, or complete silence (25:00). I doubt any of us today could imagine sitting in a room with intimidating officers watching you for 8 hours without saying a word. While the border between East and West Germany was intact, one of the things that stood out to me was how the government tried to hide the fact that East Germany had such a lower standard of living compared to the West. Not only did it take 7 years to get a car, the country had so much pollution that diseases that were thought to have mostly disappeared began reappearing in East German (27:00-28:00).

A Revolution…

I liked that the beginning of the freedom revolution started inside of church held peace prayers. The Germans used religion and the fact that the church was a place where the police weren’t really allowed to disrupt (28:00). After they gained moment with their revolution and started marching, one thing that stood out to me was when the plain clothed Stazi ripped the peace banner that was being marched (41:00). Everyone was so plainly upset, but it was literally impossible to do anything. Many people were arrested, but it only made people act out more, which is really inspiring. The most incredible thing was the 70,000 person march. I couldn’t believe there was only one recording of the event. To be a part of something like that would be frightening, and empowering (43:00-46:00).

After the wall fell…

I had heard before that the border between East and West Berlin opening was somewhat of a folly, but this was where I learned it was actually true (47:00). The scene was pure chaos, and people could very well have just been shot down if the police had the orders too, it must have been such a moving and emotional night for all Germans. I was also surprised by the way Bush reacted, saying it was a day for Germans, not Americans. Something I never could honestly expect from the American Government (50:00).

Word Count: 579 Samantha Elliott

ger/102/2012/winter/samantha_elliott-_the_wall.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/14 04:01 by smelliott
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