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20

East-West Passages

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the first few days after the Wall fell. people trying to take souvenirs; lots of tentativity and culture shock from the East Germans; resentment from West Germans at this sudden invasion. the difference between East/West Germans and how difficult it will be to reconcile

Schneider, P. (None). East-West Passages. In Schneider, P. The German Comedy: Scenes of Life After the Wall. , pp. 20-41

29

[...] Among the many grotesque miscalculations of East Germany's rulers, none was greater than the decision to protect the "Socialist Fatherland" by constructing an edifice that was bound to evoke a yearning for freedom in men and women everywhere. In building the Wall, they instantly generated worldwide sympathy for the Germans--not exactly everyone's darlings--and the German Question. Had they erected a structure less charged with symbolism, neither the Germans not their "problem" would have touched the hearts of makind in quite the same way.

he goes on to say that the Wall was doomed to start with--instead of a north-south line, they should have done an east-west line separating the Prussian North from the rest

—p.29 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] Among the many grotesque miscalculations of East Germany's rulers, none was greater than the decision to protect the "Socialist Fatherland" by constructing an edifice that was bound to evoke a yearning for freedom in men and women everywhere. In building the Wall, they instantly generated worldwide sympathy for the Germans--not exactly everyone's darlings--and the German Question. Had they erected a structure less charged with symbolism, neither the Germans not their "problem" would have touched the hearts of makind in quite the same way.

he goes on to say that the Wall was doomed to start with--instead of a north-south line, they should have done an east-west line separating the Prussian North from the rest

—p.29 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago
37

[...] By going through the Brandenburg Gate, which until recently marked the end of the Western world, you arrive at Berlin Center and Pariser Platz, and just beyond that is Unter den Linden. In Berlin, what people were calling the "wild," "crazy," "incredible," was in truth the most normal thing in the world: the ability to walk from one end of the street to the other. Having grown accustomed to an insane situation, we experienced normalization as crazy. [...]

—p.37 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] By going through the Brandenburg Gate, which until recently marked the end of the Western world, you arrive at Berlin Center and Pariser Platz, and just beyond that is Unter den Linden. In Berlin, what people were calling the "wild," "crazy," "incredible," was in truth the most normal thing in the world: the ability to walk from one end of the street to the other. Having grown accustomed to an insane situation, we experienced normalization as crazy. [...]

—p.37 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago
39

Instead of disbanding, instead of surrendering their ill-gotten gains and shutting their mouths, the Socialist Unity Party simply mounted the next-biggest pony with any life in it. This new horse is called democratic socialism, and has the advantage of never having run a race.

I don't agree with this view but thought it was notable--he describes a convention of the Socialist Unity Party right after the Wall came down, where the party line was "we were deceived by the people on top" (Honecker, Mielke, Hager)

—p.39 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago

Instead of disbanding, instead of surrendering their ill-gotten gains and shutting their mouths, the Socialist Unity Party simply mounted the next-biggest pony with any life in it. This new horse is called democratic socialism, and has the advantage of never having run a race.

I don't agree with this view but thought it was notable--he describes a convention of the Socialist Unity Party right after the Wall came down, where the party line was "we were deceived by the people on top" (Honecker, Mielke, Hager)

—p.39 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago
41

[...] The Germans now coming in from the East aren't used to anything non-German. Foreigners make up 12 percent of West Berlin's population, while in the whole of East Germany they consituted barely 1 percent.

—p.41 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] The Germans now coming in from the East aren't used to anything non-German. Foreigners make up 12 percent of West Berlin's population, while in the whole of East Germany they consituted barely 1 percent.

—p.41 by Peter Schneider 1 year, 6 months ago