PDA

View Full Version : Germany During the Cold War



George Eller
10-05-2008, 12:33 PM
-

Berlin - Checkpoint Charlie October 1961
http://warandgame.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/checkpoint-charlie-october-1961/

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/mitchtanz/checkpointcharliesml1.jpg
The stand-off between U.S. Army M48 tanks and Soviet T55 tanks during the border dispute of late October 1961.

Quote:
"The four powers governing Berlin (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union) had agreed at the 1945 Potsdam Conference that Allied personnel would not be stopped by German police in any sector of Berlin. But on 22 October 1961, just two months after the construction of the Wall, the US Chief of Mission in West Berlin, E. Allan Lightner, was stopped in his car (which had occupation forces license plates) while going to a theatre in East Berlin.

Kennedy sent General Lucius Clay, the bullish commander of the American sector during the 1948 airlift, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson to visit Berlin. They were rapturously received by the West Berliners. In front of a giant crowd outside the town hall, Johnson affirmed America’s pledge “to the freedom of West Berlin and to the rights of Western access.” At the same time, an American combat unit of 1,500 well-armed soldiers was sent up the East German autobahn from West Germany to reinforce the Allied garrison in West Berlin. The Soviets stopped and counted them but then let them pass. On arriving, they paraded down the main street of West Berlin, the Kurfuersten Damm, amidst cheering, weeping crowds. The unit’s commander said it was the most fabulous reception he had experienced since the liberation of Paris in 1944. West Berliners now felt assured they would not be abandoned.

Most of the old crossing points were closed. The East Germans allowed the use of only seven. Although West Berliners were not denied continued access to East Berlin, they needed special permits. And only one crossing point would permit other Westerners to cross into the East. This gateway would enter Cold War mythology as the place where East met West: Checkpoint Charlie, the exchange point for spies.

Rusk and Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko continued to talk, into the fall, about finding a political solution to the Berlin stalemate. Khrushchev even invited Kennedy to Moscow. The president declined the invitation but agreed to set up a confidential back channel through which per*sonal views could be exchanged. Kennedy decided to ask General Clay to return to West Berlin as his special representative, but McGeorge Bundy warned him that “Clay will be a burden to you if he takes a line more belligerent than yours.” Kennedy insisted that his appointment would reassure Berliners. Clay, on the other hand, believed he was being sent to Berlin to take on the Soviets. As soon as he arrived he ordered the building of a concrete wall at a military training school, so his soldiers could practice knocking it down.

Towards the end of October a senior American diplomat and his wife were denied access to East Berlin to attend the theatre, because they refused to show the East German border guards their passports. The four-party agree*ments that governed the city guaranteed free movement of Allied and Soviet personnel without passport formalities, so Clay sent a squad of armed US sol*diers to force the issue and accompany the diplomat in his car into East Berlin. Over the next few days, American jeeps started to convoy US civilians on pointless excursions into East Berlin, each jeep full of battle-ready soldiers ostentatiously flaunting rifles. Ten American M-48 tanks were pulled up near Checkpoint Charlie.

On the morning of 27 October, thirty-three Soviet tanks rolled into East Berlin and halted at the Brandenburg Gate, the first Soviet armour in the city since the uprising of 1953. Ten tanks drove on to Checkpoint Charlie and lined up facing the American armour barely a hundred yards away. For the first time in the Cold War, American and Russian tanks directly faced each other across a tense border. The American gunners loaded their cannons and awaited orders. An alarmed Kennedy spoke with Clay from the White House but assured him of his full support. As the hours passed the situation grew even more tense. The US garrison in West Berlin was on full alert, then NATO was put on alert, then Strategic Air Command. The Soviet military commander had a direct line to the Kremlin. Khrushchev told him that should the Americans use force, he must respond with force. Commanders on both sides were worried that, in all the tension, some nervous soldier would fire his weapon and trigger a shoot-out. A petty dispute over showing passports at a border crossing threatened to escalate into a global conflict.

Both sides realized that the situation had got out of hand. Through the back channel just set up, Kennedy sent a message directly to Khrushchev ask*ing that the Russians withdraw and assuring him that the Americans would do the same.

At Checkpoint Charlie, after a sixteen-hour standoff, the first Soviet tank started up its engine and withdrew five yards. The tension was broken. A few minutes later, an American tank pulled back the same distance. One by one the tanks withdrew. There was another sigh of relief. Clay, however, was done for. General Bruce Clarke, commander of US forces in West Germany, demanded, “What in the hell did Clay think he was doing? You don’t spit in the face of a bulldog.” NATO’s commander was furious that an unplanned dispute had threatened to engulf his forces in a conflict that could not be won. Clay remained in Berlin a few months longer and then was called home. And, with*out publicity, Washington ordered civilian officials not to visit East Berlin for the time being."

-

T H E B E R L I N C R I S I S
1 9 5 8 - 1 9 6 2
http://www.wildfleckenveterans.com/berlin-crises.php

-

M48 Tanks in Berlin
by SP5 Conrad (Connie) Schornhorst
Tank Co. 6th Inf. Reg. & Co F (PATTON) 40th Armor
1958 - 1960

http://www.berlin-brigade.de/honor/honor18.html#connie

-

Nickdfresh
10-05-2008, 02:00 PM
Interesting, George. Good find. Thanks!

George Eller
10-05-2008, 02:30 PM
Interesting, George. Good find. Thanks!
-

Thanks Nick,

I just happened to stumble across the article while searching for pictures of the U.S. Army in West Germany during the 1960's. The picture looked pretty intriguing, so I read on. I had not been aware of this incident before.

-

flamethrowerguy
10-05-2008, 02:51 PM
I guess it was never that easy for a single man to cause a world war. Just imagining one of the tank commanders got a little nervous or trigger happy...

pdf27
10-05-2008, 03:25 PM
I guess it was never that easy for a single man to cause a world war. Just imagining one of the tank commanders got a little nervous or trigger happy...
It's happened before. In 1731, a chap named Robert Jenkins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jenkins_(master_mariner)) had his ear cut off by the Spanish coastguards. This caused Britain and Spain to go to war in 1739, which later merged into the war of the Austrian Succession. This was arguably a world war, with fighting taking place in Europe, the Americas and India...

aly j
10-05-2008, 08:00 PM
It's happened before. In 1731, a chap named Robert Jenkins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jenkins_(master_mariner)) had his ear cut off by the Spanish coastguards. This caused Britain and Spain to go to war in 1739, which later merged into the war of the Austrian Succession. This was arguably a world war, with fighting taking place in Europe, the Americas and India...
Gose to show theres evil blood in every centrey.
Anyways back to cold war Germany-Why was it called the Cold war? Why cold?
Who caused the Berlin wall?

flamethrowerguy
10-06-2008, 07:36 AM
Anyways back to cold war Germany-Why was it called the Cold war? Why cold?

"Cold" because the opposing main forces' (USA and Soviet Union) measures remained below to those of an "open" war, simply no firing on each other (on a major scale at least).


Who caused the Berlin wall?
Tough one.
The "Entente" because of Versailles treaty?
Hitler for starting WW2?
The Soviet Union for having the need for an "anti-fascist protective barrier"?

You're pick.

herman2
10-06-2008, 02:47 PM
George,
I visited East Germany twice before the wall came down, and I tell you, it is an errie feeling being over there. People would stare at me just because I was drinking a coca cola. They knew you were a foreigner if you drank Coke. You could buy this stuff as tourists at places called the S store, where your showed your passport to buy American stuff like Coke or American cigee’s. When you entered a store there was paid guards on duty and shopping made you feel like a criminal.When you entered the store you had to carry a basked or push a bugee. If there were no basket, you waited. You couldn’t just browse like the way you do here, when entering a food store etc…All I can say, is that after seeing the way my relatives were brought up by East German government, I am grateful my parents escaped to the West. Thank god the Wall came down and thank god the cold war didn’t develop worse than it could have by the article you quoted.

George Eller
10-06-2008, 11:47 PM
George,
I visited East Germany twice before the wall came down, and I tell you, it is an errie feeling being over there. People would stare at me just because I was drinking a coca cola. They knew you were a foreigner if you drank Coke. You could buy this stuff as tourists at places called the S store, where your showed your passport to buy American stuff like Coke or American cigee’s. When you entered a store there was paid guards on duty and shopping made you feel like a criminal.When you entered the store you had to carry a basked or push a bugee. If there were no basket, you waited. You couldn’t just browse like the way you do here, when entering a food store etc…All I can say, is that after seeing the way my relatives were brought up by East German government, I am grateful my parents escaped to the West. Thank god the Wall came down and thank god the cold war didn’t develop worse than it could have by the article you quoted.
-

Hi Herman,

Wow, that's interesting. Like stepping into a different world wasn't it. That would make anyone extra cautious about committing some kind of infraction. I take it that your parents escaped before the wall went up? A lot of people died attempting escapes to the west afterward. Do you still have relatives in eastern Germany? I imagine that it is totally different now - have you been there since the wall came down?

It must have been difficult at first, following the unification of East and West Germany. The adjustment away from communism for easterners, and the cost burden of absorbing East Germany for West Germans. It has probably long since stabilized by now though...

Thanks for sharing that experience Herman.

-

flamethrowerguy
10-07-2008, 05:54 AM
I have been on a one-day trip to East Berlin in 1988. First "funny" thing which occured to us was the forced conversion of money right at the border post. They took 25 Mark (west) from everybody of us "capitalists" and handed out 25 Mark (east). The common exchange rate in that time was 1 west-mark = 4 ost-mark. Leaving the border post we were encountering a huge crowd of eastern germans begging to us: "Do you have 2 west-marks for me or some chewing gum?" (no joke!)
Well, what to do with 25 ost-marks? First thing, it was strictly forbidden to take any GDR money back to Western Germany, neither you weren't allowed to take any useful goods. So we tried to hoggish the money which is a tough thing when a Big Mac-like burger (called "Grilletta") costs you about 0.50 east-mark. When we had finished our lunch we asked for the bill and got bad-mouthed by the waiter for being decadent westerners and we one of us should pay the entire bill and not pay seperately. (BTW, we were a bunch of 15-16 year old kids!). After all we gave the money to some old people before luckily went over to the decadent west again.

Librarian
10-07-2008, 07:47 AM
I visited East Germany twice before the wall came down, and I tell you, it is an errie feeling being over there. People would stare at me just because I was drinking a coca cola.

Well, probably those personalities were some vividly flourishing representatives of the successfully implemented consumerism philosophy, already reoccupied with add-highlighted goods, which –as beautifully expressed by late Henry David Thoreau - more than anything else, are preventing us from living freely and nobly.

If nothing else, they were surely very poorly informed. Scientifically very well educated chemists and nutritionist at the GDR’s Miltitz chemical and ingredient facility developed an truly innovative, caffeinated and carbonated beverage that also included vitamin C and a hint of lemon called Vita Cola - Brauselimonade mit Frucht- und Kräutergeschmack.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/VitaCola.jpg

As I remember, back there in 1986, when I was back there in the GDR with my old Sorb relatives in Lübbenau, on the beautiful edge of the Spreewald, it was tasty, especially if served chilled. Of course, vitamin C was already added – as recommended by our great and noble teacher Linus Pauling - thus throat irritation was a nonexistent phenomenon. :)

And that truly refreshing stuff is still produced!

http://www.foodbev.com/articleDetail.aspx?contentId=932

Therefore try it, my dear Mr. Hermann and you shall not regret. Cheers! ;)

herman2
10-07-2008, 10:56 AM
I always wanted to share my personnel experiences visiting DDR. Hope this synopsis is relevant to the Thread as it relates to EAST vs West.
When I visited East Germany in my teens I stayed a month on 2 occasions. My parents worried as I travelled alone and their was fear that a Canadian born from Germans that escaped the East would be forced to stay for mandatory military service as East Germany didn’t recognize my status given my parents disposition. I don’t know if that’s a fact or a fear. I didn’t care as I thought it was adventurous. My Visa came through from Ottawa as there was no embassy in Toronto for DDR. Upon arriving in DDR, the reporting to the local police station in cousin Dietmar’s trabant was a joke. Gestapo was still alive from my perspective with the police 21 questions. Dietmar was the richest in the family because he owned a Trabant (which he waited several yrs to buy as he was on a waiting list). I stayed near the polish border in a small town. I brought a suitcase of coffee and chocolate which was reassured. I ate eal (for special occasion-yuk) and fatty salami that would pass as third rate from our standards. The butcher had the most fattiest salami you would ever see. Nothing lean or tasy like we get here. Eggs were grown on my Aunt’s farm but could not be eaten as they were valuable and sold off instead. A communal tabcoo field was the main part of extra cash for my Aunt. I visited East Berlin 4 times. On the West side of the wall you could see the East tower guards watching you as you stared over near the wall. I wondered how these East German guards could betray the fatherland by becoming commie’s aiming their guns at fellow Germans.
The beer at the kiosk in East Germany was sold in mugs that you paid a deposit and got a refund when you returned the mug. The East German Zoo was frequented by unusually dark skinned Russians with their red caps that could be spotted a mile away. Gypsies ironically sold sunglasses throughout the park where Russians bought from. I could see the West from the East side of the wall and felt pitty for those that could only look into the East, as I was merely a tourist, and could leave at any time back to the West. Their were so many huge magnificent buildings half bombed or falling apart that remained from the war but were awaiting repairs still to the day. I would say that West Berlin had nothing in comparison to East Berlin when it came to original WW-2 buildings.Huge Great masters of architecture that made me look in awe, wondering if Hitler walked upon these buildings and wondering how great Germany use to be, and what a shame it has become divided and ripped aprt by the Russians. Either that or West Berlin tore them down for condo’s. East Germany sold crap. All I got from my mandatory currency exchange was some East German flags and useless embalms. The DDR tower was a big thing (mini-CN-Tower). The shops sold a lot of bolts,tools and blue collar trades stuff but hardly nothing for a tourists. I don’t think they imported anything from the West. The television from DDR was solely non-western. No cable or satellite back then. None of my relatives even heard of bugs Bunny or Fantasy Island or whatever was popular back then. They didn’t seem to miss it either and didn’t dream much about the West because they knew they could never get to the West. They all heard of the Reppa-Baum in Hamburg (Red light district of St.Pauli), but that’s another story. My parent s escaped from the East before the wall went up. My mother had to run over barbed wire that was laid out at the time, while my dad cut through it (so he say’s). A few mths later the wall began and my Aunt could not leave. She dies penniless on a farm that was once owned by a Jewish baroness who reclaimed the land after DDR gave it back. I have not gone back to Germany but I am a happier person today knowing the luxury of my civil rights and convenience of amenities, which the DDR did not have or offer. Not knowing the West did not make my relatives unhappy. They were happy for not knowing any better. Thank God for the Great Democracy we live within.

Librarian
10-15-2008, 04:49 PM
Communication is civilization itself, my dear Mr. Hermann, and words, even the most contradictory words, are always preserving the most important thing on this planet – the human contact. It is silence that isolates and destroys, and we, as participants of the human adventure, do have an obligation to bring into interplay those thousands of the thoughts that are capable to positively change the hearts and minds of humankind, advancing human progress, even the course of the civilization. Therefore please – don’t worry! Your personal narrative contribution always will be a useful input in a process in which human beings are creating a relationship by interacting with each other. :D

I do hope, however, that you will excuse me for my inherent, old-fashioned scientism that entails me to argue against your thesis that this thread relates to the fashionable intellectual misconception commonly known as East-Versus-West archetype. Actually, my dear Mr. Herman, we are facing here only the old remnants of the 250 years old philosophical quandary in the international order dialectics, known as the Imponderance of the Kantian sublime and the Rousseauvian loop.

Yes, I know – you are asking yourself what to hell I am talking about. Don’t worry – great philosophical concepts, fortunately, are mostly very simple.;)

The Kantian principle asserts that final good will come out of adversity, because adversity forces man to overcome it. The greater the adversity – the more pressing the need to resolve problem – the greater the expectation that man will behave rationally and take the appropriate steps toward meeting the emergency. Although man is prone to fight, to seek power and to pursue his own egotistical ends, human nature can be understood in terms of potentialities, which could be actualized in the course of history. Man, acting rationally, would also be acting within the dictates of justice, and standards of justice will be knowable by right reasoning. A rational and moral political order thus can be imposed on the international systems.

This is essentially a non-deterministic system of the world, because it relies in the efficacy of change through human agency. Unlike the so-called Rousseauvian predicament, who considers the driving force of history to be located in antecedent causes that push the process along, the Kantian predicament makes allowance for the power of the idea of the future that – to some extent – is able to pull the process along. For the Rousseauvians the transition from position X to position Y is determined by the total condition of the X itself. For the Kantian the transition to Y can be effected to some degree by having a conception of the future goal Z.

You will see I am sure, that another characteristic of the Kantian thesis is its pervasive rationalism. It asserts that a rational and moral political order can be imposed on the system of international affairs, and that states, as well as individuals are capable of behaving in a completely moral and rational manner towards one another. When Kant speaks about progress he means it by the actualization of man’s potential for rationality.

Simply, my dear Mr. Herman, our immortal, absolutely magnificent transcendental idealist was convinced that the calamities of international politics were no more than instances in the failure of rational comprehension. Progress of mankind is, accordingly to Kant, guaranteed by the teleology which seeks mankind advancing towards some ultimate goals, and these goals are to be attained through what is basically a dialectical process between man and nature in which nature imposes afflictions and hardships upon man and – in overcoming these, man is gradually guided towards his ethical destiny.

However, this utterly optimistic description of human affairs was mortally destabilized by the Rousseauvian tradition of despair, which envisioned power politics as the law of all international life. Although man, in the state of his nature, is not for Rousseau a warlike creature, but a peaceful and timid being, more prone to run away than to fight, the violence of international politics is inevitable. And why? War, he repeatedly asserted, is a social phenomenon, social in the sense that what gives rise to it is the inception of civil society – the move from the state of nature to the civil society that makes the man a fighter. As he puts it, it is only when man has entered into society with other man that he decides to attack another, and he only becomes a soldier after he has become a citizen.

And why does civil society bring about this change and produces continuously a state of war? For the simple reason that while it solves one problem of order at the domestic level, it immediately creates another at the international level - the institution of the state creates domestic order but initiates international anarchy! If international anarchy is to be overcome, it must be through a confederation "with teeth" – a very strong form of supra-national organization.

Unlike the Kantian proposal, Rousseau’s confederation was to have the power of enforcement and there was to be no right of secession from it! Thus whereas Kant argued that the state should not be subject to law, Rousseau insistently argued the opposite case: "If there is any way of reconciling these dangerous contradictions, it is to be found only in such a form of federal government as shall unite nations by bonds similar to those which already unite their individual members and place the one no less than the other under the authority of the law".

Rousseau was arguing that if there was a solution, then such a federation was it. But he rejected this as a solution on the grounds that there is absolutely no hope of its realization! As he putted it ironically, all that is needed to establish the federation is the consent of the princes, who, unfortunately, would resist with all their might any proposal for its creation. And so, having claimed that there is only one possible solution to the ills of international disorder, Rousseau went on to dismiss it as being utterly unattainable. :(

Rousseau provided, in most poignant fashion, an example of the conviction that the Universe is irredeemably irrational. Logically, his federation is irrefutable. In terms of a rational pursuit of self-interest, and in the long run everyone would benefit from such a scheme. Why, then, will the princes never consent to it? Because the man will not act rationally – even if they are shown where their own best interest lie, they will not behave accordingly.

If any more proof is needed, we do need only to recall his most famous line: "If, in spite of all this, the project remains unrealized, that is not because it is utopian; it is because man are crazy, and because to be sane in a world of madmen is in itself a kind of madness."

In addition, you know what is even more provocative in all this, my dear Mr. Herman2? The sorrowful fact that the present age still lacks any widely-shared vision of the direction that future should take.:(

But enough with the philosophy - let me now start with my private memories about the DDR…

To be continued! ;)

Librarian
10-20-2008, 12:19 PM
Well, before I start with my tiny personal account about the DDR, allow me to warn you, my dear Mr. Herman2, with words of a thousand years wisdom: Only half of this is truth. Half of this is probably not truth…Don’t hold it against me if I add something or miss something. I am telling you the way I hard it.;)

On my first solo-trip to the DDR, back there in 1986 I used the advantages of the rail travel. I was convinced that if your intention is to feel the country you have to travel on the land, not over it! Railroads provided complete advantage through the operation with comfort, speed, safety, scenic routings with great diversity, stopovers at any point en route within the time limit of the ticket. The railroad tracks went through towns and cities, agricultural territories, along the shores of rivers and lakes, over and through mountains. Therefore this basically truly international line of the DR (Deutsche Reichsbahn!), ČSD, MÁV and JŽ - the Inter Express line Subotica – Budapest – Bratislava – Brno – Prague – Dresden – Berlin-Lichtenberg was the very first starting point of my personal Sven Hedin-type of traveling adventure.

Sleeping car services with roomettes were in those times capable to accommodate one person in complete privacy, and additionally there were even those nowadays sadly forgotten individual toilet facilities. Dining was provided in separate dining car, with tables for four and for two. The service provided was equivalent to that obtainable in any decent restaurant. Yes, I had traveled in a high-level car, but who cared – I was on my first international trip, being officially sent to the DDR on basically scientific grounds, with a duty to intensify my knowledge about enzymatic reactions and their large-scale industrial applications in sugar beat generated molasses alteration into monocellular proteins at the Institut für Gärungsgewerbe und Biotechnologie in Berlin. And I think that previously mentioned knowledge was indeed very useful. After all, those same old German solutions are in use even today, when my dearly beloved ex-socialist industrial unit called "Fermin" (FERmentaciona INdustrija) produces internationally recognized chemical products, of course, this time as a European Production Centre of the renowned US Alltech Corporation, under the name Alletch-Fermin. Well, that is a final outcome… at least for the time being.

In those times, a well-known "red" Yugoslav passport was highly appreciated, and the DDR was amongst those 168 different states with a mutually assured visa-free regime for the citizens of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and, of course, there was additional stamp: Raison de Visite - Officiellement. Of course, DDR required that visitors were in a good health, that they have sufficient funds and that their passports are in good order. I was equipped with all certificates (smallpox inoculation, etc.) I was advised to get before departure, so upon arrival I had no trouble with the health inspection.

Customs at Bad Schandau were strict and stringent, but as a non-resident I was allowed to bring into the DDR duty-free everything which was for my own use and necessary for the purpose of my visit. Clothing and other personal effects could be brought in if I was to take them out when leaving. There were restrictions on items intended for consummation in the DDR, but I never smoked, and that one bottle of special apricot brandy for my old relatives there was completely unproblematic for the custom officers. Small gifts for relatives were also duty – free, since there was no duty on gifts valued at 100 DDM, and I traveled with approved and double-signed travelers cheques, therefore I was not obliged to exchange a pre-setted amount of Dinars for Marks.

The customs inspection was not difficult – simplified declaration was used for arrivals. I have nott attempted to bring into country plants, flowers, vegetables, fruits, meat, birds or - God forbid! - animals, passport and all other papers were OK, I was checked by Public Health, Customs, and Agriculture inspections, I found all those officials normal and anxious to pass me quickly. I was not obliged to take off my shoes and socks, I was not asked personal questions, i was not interrogated by police officers, or commanded to face the wall, to put my hands up and to stand with my legs spread, and a specially trained officer never checked my...tiny place where sun never shines, not even to mention that I was not ordered to drop into the basket and to leave there my toothpaste, deodorant and my after-shave lotion. In those times, these procedures were not applied.

The topography of the country is well known: it includes lowlands, broad plains, interrupted by low, rolling hills and marshes, as well as with forested regions. However, within the period of just a few hours one was able to ride through well-farmed green plains, densely-forested ranges of hills, and bold bare-rock attractions of Saxon Switzerland, especially at the Zittau mountains, with their diversity of rock formations an wooded ridges. The tourist traveling across East Germany was, however, often impressed by step-like forests. He was able to see trees’ ranging from small seedlings to trees thirty or forty years old, ready to be cut. They were cropped annually, but only those which have been growing for many years. By planting each year as many trees as the cut, the Germans have assured themselves a constant amount of timber. Their forestry laws were rigid and exacting. No one was allowed to cut down a tree without arranging for planting another one to offset the loss!

My lodge - Interhotel Stadt Berlin - was a modern, well-equipped and more comfortable construction than my own home! Guests around the world were able to enjoy a truly wide variety of services, completely comparable to those offered by Sheraton in Boston. With its own high culinary standards, superb service and comfortable accommodation, this hotel offered a truly splendid place for relaxation and study. It was situated right there in the middle of the Alexanderplatz, known familiarly as "Alex", a true attraction for Berliners and visitors alike, and the World Time Clock was the place for many rendezvous. There were crowds in the Rathaus Strasse, between the Alex and the Town Hall, with many shops and the Centrum department store, as well as with numerous residential blocks, while in between there were fountains and courtyards with flowers. As far as I remember restaurants, cafés, wine-taverns and the Bowling Center were pleasant places to linger for a while… and that was not a strict characteristic of the "Berlin Spirit".

On Marx-Engels Square, where Unter den Linden, Berlin’s most famous boulevard started, was the impressive building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Humboldt University was also there, and also the State Opera, Opera Café, and St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, rebuilt by the government. Opposite the State Opera there was the former building of the "Neue Wache", built by Schinkel. The amusement park at Berlin-Köpenick was crowded at the weekends, and many visitors paid a visit to the Zoo, in the building of which voluntary reconstruction work (NAW) played an important role. Structures included the Tropical House, and the atmosphere within recalled that at the jungle.

Berlin – the reconstructed capital of the DDR – was often the venue for numerous big social events. One of these was the May Day, or Day of the Working Class (Tag der Arbeit). People really enjoyed the celebration, and I was unable to see any trace of enforced personal presence, or compulsory conducted activity – citizens were not pushed with bayonets into the large, cheerful multitude.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-2.jpg

Berlin – Tag der Arbeit

Excuse me, honorable ladies and gentlemen - again that boring memo: "The text that you have entered is too long (15928 characters). Please shorten it to 10000 characters long." OK... here we go...:roll:

Librarian
10-20-2008, 12:20 PM
Astonishingly, church and state were tenuously allied in East Germany! Even after years of officially godless Communism, Christianity was a living, palpable force in the DDR. It is true that it were the old – especially old women! – who attended the services, but increasing number of young people was amazing. The government has helped to restore the churches and traditional landmarks, thus promoting traditional values. The very same spirit of collectivism was completely observable in the streets of Erfurt during the Ecumenical Church Day, a vivid demonstration that Christians had won greater freedom than usually projected.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-6.jpg

Erfurt – Ecumenical Church Day rally, officially sanctioned by East German government

I was amazed to see the tremendous effort that a Socialist state devoted to a man of God, by rebuilding religious sites, and emphasizing the positive social message of Martin Luther. The Visitors Center in Eisenach displayed a proclamation from Communist party head Erich Honecker, praising the historical accomplishments of Luther! In return, church officially supported the government.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-7.jpg

Eisenach - Karl Marx and Martin Luther, side by side!

Germans in the DDR lived their lives relieved by ordinary human joys. After the war a significant industrial base was developed roughly out of nothing, and it started to raise the living standard of the population. As everywhere under socialism, the state provided people with the basic essentials of life either free of charge or very cheaply. East Germans paid nothing for their education or medical treatment. Each family was provided with somewhere to live at a nominal rent. That was possibly a standardized flat in a boring town-block, but it was cheap and fully supplied with heating and electricity. Every citizen was entitled to a job and a meticulously calculated salary. For instance, a doctor could receive less than a shipyard worker or miner! Bread was cheap, vegetables were cheap, pork sausages and rib roasts were abundant and low-priced as well, rent was almost ludicrous, public transport within cities was also inexpensive, but housewives had to do their shopping either before or after work, because people were forced to wait in long queues for public transport after about 3 pm, when they returned home for the main meal of the day. The young middle-class housewives were no longer prepared to spend hours on the servitude of their kitchen as their grandmothers did. Furthermore, their husbands no longer expected that. They did not mind if she just popped a steak, and served it with a canned vegetable stew.

Housewives were rarity in the DDR, because almost all married women had regular jobs. In some ways that societal preference helped women to lead a fuller life than they would in a country where they were expected merely to run a house and to bring up children. A married woman was capable to plan her own career, to organize her working life, and she was not expected to subordinate her wishes to those of her husband. Women were capable to gain positions of authority in almost any profession: engineering, agriculture or factory management, as well as such traditionally feminine areas as medicine and teaching. For this reason DDR women were perhaps a little bit more self-confident than western women.

Girls formed a higher proportion of university students than it was usual in the West, or in Yugoslavia. The socialist government has achieved its greatest successes in education. Before the war it was most unusual for a child of peasant origin to enter university. But after the war education was made a high priority and many university places were reserved for young people of working class or peasant origin.

The social relations tended to be directed towards the family and inner social circles. Although people saw less of their cousins and aunts than before, they were still closely tied to the more immediate family. Germans in those times had made only a few very close friends, and depended less upon them. They were able to chat easily to strangers in a train or café, but they tended to be more reserved when it comes to forming real ties. What they have firmly in mind, however, was a stable future: stady jobs, marriage, their own house or apartement, two children – one of each sex – and no trouble in life. They knew when they will marry and what their house will be like, and nothing was likely to deflect them from their objectives! The people were always very polite, and when their work was doen for the day, or at weekends, they lead tranquil lives in snug little circles of family and friends.

Although television was there in the DDR Germans in those times took a greater interest in theater, cinema, museums and books! Museums, galleries and libraries were always full, because they tended either to be cultured or else wanted to be cultured. Even people with little education were not frightened of poetry or good literature. Publishing was of good quality and achieved high sales. Books by almost all of the world’s leading writers – alive or dead! – were available in German translation, and they were bought in large numbers.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-4.jpg

Dresden, Semper’s Art Gallery – visitors were always there in large groups

The most popular leisure activity, however, was - without any doubt - sport! Sporting activities were greatly encouraged, and most East Germans were able through their jobs to join a different club that provided numerous sport facilities. The collective was all important, since Osies would not usually, as individuals, have the resources to sail, go motorcycle or automobile racing, or riding. Anyway, they were encouraged to operate as part of a group. Healing spas, attractive social facilities, and beautiful grounds located amidst charming scenery were available for members of different sporting clubs. Personally, I was mostly impressed with numerous sailing regattas, usually held during the Baltic Week, but at other times as well. The Yacht Harbor of Warnemünde, with those beautiful wooden examples of true craftsmanship, numerous carefree sailing enthusiasts – members of the Trade Union Sporting Club – and with the fishermen landing their catch nearby, were a visible evidence of growing personal standards in the DDR, as well as a possible link in the system of peaceful uniting the peoples with different social orders.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-3.jpg

Boat Harbor, Warnemünde

Although material tastes and popular artifacts of our modern civilization were subjected in those days to the same widespread uniformities as the standardized goods available within repetitive shopping complexes, DDR was a pretty strange example of socio-cultural repudiation of the unvarying originality. In today’s world rare is a citizen who views a car, for example, as a simple tool of transportation. Apparently when people are ready to move from a bicycle or oxcart to four wheels, they do want a vehicle that makes a statement about their social success. But that characteristic of modern society was somehow strangely non-existent in those times in the GDR, and science was not yoked to help potential buyers to make that statement. Therefore some pretty strange situations occurred. For example, nobody stared at the good old Ford Capri back there in the streets of Leipzig, especially not those Wartburg drivers!

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-1.jpg

Leipzig – epitomized dream of a standardized individuality was overlooked

To be Continued… ;)

Chevan
10-20-2008, 02:24 PM
It was quite amazing interesting post dear Librarian. Thank you. I 've learned some things about DDR just now:)
This might look absolutly lunatic for our westernizes friends ( who have to use to hear about East just in negative light from their fu...g CNN/BBS brain-washers :mrgreen:)

I was amazed to see the tremendous effort that a Socialist state devoted to a man of God, by rebuilding religious sites, and emphasizing the positive social message of Martin Luther. The Visitors Center in Eisenach displayed a proclamation from Communist party head Erich Honecker, praising the historical accomplishments of Luther! In return, church officially supported the government.

Almost the same was in USSR mate.
Astonishingly, in my native little Southern Russian city the single Ortodoxy Church has been destroyed by wild bolshevics in the 1923 but , (that always wondered me) have been fully rebuild in 1951 , during the Stalin's time.
It has happend becouse after the WW2 Soviet govenment has turned their policy and relation toward the Ortodoxy Church dramatically. The CHurch have been almost legalized.Certainly the Communist atheistic state were far from Supportion of religion, but UNNOFICIALY the State refuse any attack to Church, moreover the believers were no more persecuted by gov( as it was in Bolshevic russia).
The other qite amazing thing was that since both my parents , beeing the official members of Comparty , WERE BAPTIZED in our local Church:shock:
Me , being the soviet pioneer , have been baptized also in seven years old.
And that Communist-Church DUALISM always wonder me.
There were no more bariers to be believer , if you wish.From other hand peoples might do a carier in a Atheistic state.
Years later, i start to understand that paradox. You know , it seem for me the Communism ideology ,in sense, was a ...Other form of Religion.
Peoples believed in the Great Happy Socialist future just like a REAL BELIEVERS.
Actualy it looks like the Paradise in OTHER life , promised by the Church to the believers.
But communist religion was directed to FUTURE paradise of supposed PERFECT Social order.
I don't really know who of them were more BELIEVERS- hard Communist or Admirers of God:)

Kato
10-21-2008, 12:19 PM
[QUOTE=Chevan;139442]It was quite amazing interesting post dear Librarian. Thank you. I 've learned some things about DDR just now:)
This might look absolutly lunatic for our westernizes friends ( who have to use to hear about East just in negative light from their fu...g CNN/BBS brain-washers :mrgreen:)


Germans gave their assessment of life in DDR when they did their best to flee to the Western Germany. The reason for building the Berlin wall was the communists fears of the depopulation of DDR and these fears had serious grounds considering the number of people leaving the state.



Almost the same was in USSR mate.
Astonishingly, in my native little Southern Russian city the single Ortodoxy Church has been destroyed by wild bolshevics in the 1923 but , (that always wondered me) have been fully rebuild in 1951 , during the Stalin's time.
It has happend becouse after the WW2 Soviet govenment has turned their policy and relation toward the Ortodoxy Church dramatically. The CHurch have been almost legalized.


The Russian Ortodoxy Church just became the branch-office of KGB. Soviet commies decided that it is better to have another puppet public institution for controlling the population.



Certainly the Communist atheistic state were far from Supportion of religion, but UNNOFICIALY the State refuse any attack to Church, moreover the believers were no more persecuted by gov( as it was in Bolshevic russia).

Only the believers of the official Russian Orthodox Church and only when they were not identified as anti-Soviet elements there.


The other qite amazing thing was that since both my parents , beeing the official members of Comparty , WERE BAPTIZED in our local Church:shock:
Me , being the soviet pioneer , have been baptized also in seven years old.
And that Communist-Church DUALISM always wonder me.
There were no more bariers to be believer , if you wish.From other hand peoples might do a carier in a Atheistic state.

The reality is the members of Comparty who baptized their children were neither communists nor christians. They were just superstitious time-servers.



Years later, i start to understand that paradox. You know , it seem for me the Communism ideology ,in sense, was a ...Other form of Religion.
Peoples believed in the Great Happy Socialist future just like a REAL BELIEVERS.
Actualy it looks like the Paradise in OTHER life , promised by the Church to the believers.
But communist religion was directed to FUTURE paradise of supposed PERFECT Social order.
I don't really know who of them were more BELIEVERS- hard Communist or Admirers of God:)

I don't really think that there had been any significant number of true adult believers in communism in the USSR after 1920s. People lived or were born in the USSR and could not leave it or change anything inside it.

George Eller
10-23-2008, 06:13 AM
-

East Germany
German Democratic Republic (GDR), aka DDR

Nationale Volksarmee - National People's Army
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_People%27s_Army
The National People’s Army (German: Nationale Volksarmee) was the military of the German Democratic Republic.

Quote:
"The creation of the National People’s Army on March 1, 1956, six months after the formation of the West German Bundeswehr, followed years of preparation during which former Wehrmacht officers and Communist veterans of the Spanish Civil War helped organize and train paramilitary units of the People's Police. With its German appearance--including uniforms and ceremonies patterned after older German military traditions--the doctrine and structure of the NVA were strongly influenced by the armed forces of the Soviet Union, thus mixing elements of the 20th century's most innovative and successful schools of military in a force which, for its size, was considered one of the most professional and prepared of the world... (Continues)"

-

Various video clips on East Germany, Berlin and East German Army NVA (Nationale Volksarmee) and Navy (Volksmarine):

Berlin, US, British Troops & Tanks, Berlin Wall Construction 1961/ 8/ 31
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARQ4EDKlQ0k

Berlin Wall 1st Anniversary, Freedom Bell Rings 1962/ 8/ 16
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxWJnbQyexI

East Germany & Volksarmee (DDR NVA)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rUr-TOXSGc
The National People's Army of the GDR (DDR Nationale Volksarmee, NVA) along with scenes from East Germany's history.
Opening music is by Wagner. The 2 songs after that are "Mein Land ist Gut" and "Der Offene Aufmarsch", sung by the DDR NVA and choir.

13. August 1961
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ubeY8jDH1E
East German troops training. NVA (Nationale Volksarmee).

Damals bei der NVA - 1960 bis 1969
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqM0yTg_Yns
East German NVA (Nationale Volksarmee)

Damals bei der NVA - 1970 bis 1977
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEnAxC1_44g
East German NVA (Nationale Volksarmee)

Damals bei der NVA - 1978 bis 1984
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEyxx-gxqDg
East German NVA (Nationale Volksarmee)

Damals bei der NVA - 1984 bis 1990
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTD5hyQQf0o
East German NVA (Nationale Volksarmee)

NVA Vorfuehrung
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN6MJLyRKC8

Unsere NVA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATiUBAbQ2mY

NVA DDR - East German military maneuvers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMv6Zw0VgiM

NVA Manoever
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YwT2moXkeQ

NVA Manöver
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e59UY7okn1U

Taktik - East German panzergrenadiers training
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx5FxDgmxBE

Waffenbrüderschaft 1980
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA4yhBKfl4Q
East German Warsaw Pact military maneuvers 1980

NVA Fallschirmjaeger training
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDyx3izaBcA
East German paratrooper training

Nationale Volksarmee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhfLP7Z2wF0

Volksmarine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tecEO66-KME
East German Navy in photos

MARINE EAST GERMANY NAVY Volksmarine DDR NVA Schnellboote
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zz8HwwXz4E
Pictures from the 80's of the People's Navy. People's Navy Dranske nose speedboat units of the GDR.

14th & 11th Armored Cav Point Alpha The Cold War, Bad Hersfeld, East West Germany.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksIgR_SSlwA
"The mission of the 14th ACR was to verify an attack of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviets. War Games were played by both sides on the border. We did recon on the border so we could alert the 7th Army of an advance across the border. That's why we were a Recon Sqdn. Our second mission was to delay the aggressors as long as possible. Life expectancy was 20 minuets. All larger units were located farther into Germany, this would give them time to mobilize and to get NATO units on the move."
John Hathcock, MSG. SF
US ARMY Ret. (North Carolina)

(CONTINUED BELOW)

-

George Eller
10-23-2008, 06:15 AM
-

(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)

Various video clips on East Germany and Berlin:

1958 East Germany Commercial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2euuKCPzXn4
1958 film from former East Germany is a mix of propaganda and advertising: the first half film praises the general progress achieved during 1958, the second half advertises the choice of Christmas gifts available at state-owned Konsum stores.

USSR Cuts Troops in E. Germany (1956)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_bsIh3rXKY

Berlin Wall 1961 - 1989
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdZVsFjWnbI

The Berlin Wall
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qTFRnRyWWE
American Government propaganda film about the erection of the Berlin Wall. From the holdings of the National Archives (1962).

Rise and fall of the Berlin wall
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqySsC7ihSI
A film about the construction and the fall of the Berlin wall ending with the united Germany's new year celebrations in Berlin 1990.

The Berlin Wall (extract from BBC and CNN Series Cold War)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSwmBacyIP4
An edited overview of the Berlin Wall, from the 9th episode of the excellent BBC and CNN series "Cold War".

Berlin - Checkpoint Charlie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AouNl1ts20E
This film shows video footage taken in April 1990 plus still image photographs taken in December 1989 and July 2005. There is footage on both sides of the wall, although for reasons of personal security the footage of the Eastern side of the crossing point is somewhat minimal. Nevertheless it is possible to see the arrangement of frosted glass screens which made it virtually impossible to see the crossing point from the East.

Berlin East German Checkpoint Bravo Tour
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aknnt3H-Nsk
This is a brief tour of the Checkpoint Bravo East German command post -- which had sat in disrepair since 1989, when the Berlin wall fell. It was covered in graffiti, rusting, and had all of the windows broken out, among other things. Efforts are now underway to try and preserve it as a part of local history, though funding is still needed. The goal is to provide a history of the area through the eyes of the East Germans and provide a political education center for youth coming through this area.

Crimes of Communism: East Germany
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE1NVACOUCM
A brief historical overview of the Soviet-controlled German "Democratic" Republic (GDR).

Die DDR in Farbe I - The GDR in color I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6agAk6dNJ6Q
Silent 8mm color film from the 60's, which gives a small idea of the private life of the GDR citizens. See the Völkerschlacht monument in Leipzig and the attendance of a festival.

East Germany
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXuNrrgljhk
east germany before the germanys both reunited shows the border between east and west germany sites in and around east germany and some very historical photographs of berlin in the early sixties.

East German Trabant 601 Car Advertising Film (1969)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk6aoV6mhns

Vintage 1960's East German Trabant Car Commercial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQwj0EqOQJw

Vintage 1960s Wartburg 1000 East German Car Commercial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPfzmlpJcKQ

Vintage East German 1960's ORWO Film Commercial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FEBB9jnaUY

Young Pioneer song East Germany- Wir tragen die Blaue Fahne
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nackQiSUdZ4
Anthem of the Thallmann pioneers of the DDR / East Germany

DDR sports propaganda
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwMuRnZ-hyE
DDR propaganda and comparations between DDR and Nazi Germany

The 'good old days' of East Germany
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxsrx9jBj_M
'The quality of products was much better than what's on offer today': East Germans remember the good old days at an expo selling Communist-era products in Berlin.

DDR East German Techno Anthem
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR0YHAEEg3I
Scenes from the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic) or DDR (GDR), a socialist state which existed between 1949 - 1990.

die Deutsche Demokratische Republik
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rM22KERH-I

East Germany in pictures
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94dWnD1HYRg

John F Kennedy - Berlin Wall Speech (June 1963)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lRZzDL3EJo

President Ronald Reagan - Address from the Berlin Wall June 12th, 1987
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2glo8GN2AbE
In one of his most famous statements, Reagan declares "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" He speaks of future peace with the Soviet Union, and encourages the Soviet government to work on bringing East and West of Berlin together.

Crossing the Berlin Wall in 1988
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hCbSVi6W-E

Crossing the Berlin border on the S-Bahn (late '80s)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciXarXYjP-g

Fall of the Berlin Wall
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnYXbJ_bcLc
ABC news reports on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The opening of the Wall at Berlin Bornholmer Strasse 1989
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_eCVhCGYwE
The former border crossing of "Bornholmer Strasse" was the first point of the "DDR" that opened it's gates to the West on 9th of november 1989. Shortly after the news the first "Trabi" rolled into the west.

The opening of the Berlin Wall 1989 / Reichstag (English Subtitles)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEbsCYLx2TI

Fall of the Berlin Wall - BBC News
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgTxL9ZTRB4
BBC News report covering the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November 1989

BBC News: Collapse of the Berlin Wall (November 1989)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut5t3hWyAwQ
From the BBC News archive, footage of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Includes statement by then-Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher.

JUST A DAY: The Fall of the Berlin Wall
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sA3yjdCQZE

East / West Berlin Contrasts, April 1990. (1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RI1m7_04mw
Some primarily U-Bahn (underground railway / subway) related views filmed in Berlin in April 1990, which was after the wall had been opened but when the city was still divided.

East / West Berlin Contrasts, April 1990. (2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwPDUA-Azg0
Some primarily railway related views filmed in Berlin in April 1990, which was after the wall had been opened but when the city was still divided.
The film includes the following:
i)Several views of the Berlin wall, watch towers, etc as seen from S-Bahn trains.
ii) Platform views taken at Gesundbrunnen, Friedrichstr. and Zoo stations.
iii) The duty free 'Intershop' shops for West Berlin passengers changing between trains at Friedrichstr, which was wholly in East Berlin.
iv) Several rides (S-Bahn and U-Bahn) on West Berlin trains through closed stations in the Eastern controlled part of Berlin.
v) A DDR (former East Germany) map of the U & S Bahn in what the Eastern authorities called 'Westberlin'.

Behind the Iron Curtain 1990
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGfoUZUuXAo
Trip to East Germany just after the wall came down.

-

flamethrowerguy
10-23-2008, 09:02 AM
Some DDR (GDR) images:

Recruitment poster for the east-german border police:
2923
1378km of border to the imperialistic west had to be protected including 161km within GDR territory (around West-Berlin).

"For world peace. Solidarity with Cuba."
2924

Still a style icon: Trabant P601. a common joke back then: "Why 601? 600 people ordered one, only one got it..." Consequences of a state-directed economy.
2925

"Hands off of Vietnam. Solidarity right now.", 1975
2926

Rising Sun*
10-23-2008, 09:26 AM
Still a style icon: Trabant P601. a common joke back then: "Why 601? 600 people ordered one, only one got it..." Consequences of a state-directed economy.
2925

Is that the highly desirable model made of up-market cardboard? :D

Nickdfresh
10-23-2008, 10:05 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WclNIbnyfRI

The East German National Anthem, for the Zucker & Abrams writing team (Airplane!) film "Top Secret!" (1984) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088286/) starring Val Kilmer as a young Elvis like performer that gets in trouble in East Germany...

:D

Nickdfresh
10-23-2008, 10:11 AM
Some DDR (GDR) images:

...
Still a style icon: Trabant P601. a common joke back then: "Why 601? 600 people ordered one, only one got it..." Consequences of a state-directed economy.
2925


Rich capitalists (or socialists) like U2 can afford as many as they wanted!

http://trabant.shocauto.com/images/U2_Trabant_concert1.jpg

George Eller
10-23-2008, 06:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WclNIbnyfRI

The East German National Anthem, for the Zucker & Abrams writing team (Airplane!) film "Top Secret!" (1984) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088286/) starring Val Kilmer as a young Elvis like performer that gets in trouble in East Germany...

:D
-

I remember that movie. Val Kilmer played a rock&roll singer named Nick Rivers. There was a scene in the movie
where some of his East German fans were holding up signs, one of which read "We Love You Neek". :D

Funny movie :)

-

flamethrowerguy
10-24-2008, 08:21 AM
Is that the highly desirable model made of up-market cardboard? :D

Exactly, nicknamed "race-cardboard" or "thermoset bomber".

BTW, you wouldn't want these guys chasing you:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/de/7/75/Trabbi_Polizei.jpg

Chevan
10-26-2008, 01:09 PM
Some DDR (GDR) images:

Recruitment poster for the east-german border police:
2923
1378km of border to the imperialistic west had to be protected including 161km within GDR territory (around West-Berlin).
Looks suspectively familiar:)
Where did you see DDR police with PPSh?Haw many years back was it?


"For world peace. Solidarity with Cuba."
2924

Yea..Kastro, cuba , revolution..forever:)


Still a style icon: Trabant P601. a common joke back then: "Why 601? 600 people ordered one, only one got it..." Consequences of a state-directed economy.
2925

This was a Miracle of German high-tech industry.
The 600 kg two-stroke easy-parking car was launch that same year when the soviet Sputnik fly over the America for the first time, calling the panic:)
It was a perfect car that prodused for the 30 year modernizing slightly ( Why does have to modernize a Masterpiece?)
It was such maneuvreable car that West German Mersedess just s..ck :)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose_test
Moose test
In 1997 the journalist Robert Collin from the motor magazine Teknikens Värld overturned the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the moose test, while a Trabant — a much older, and widely mocked car from the former German Democratic Republic — managed it perfectly
I always knew the Western Germans might do noting except luxury.


"Hands off of Vietnam. Solidarity right now.", 1975
2926

Oh nostalgia...

Chevan
10-26-2008, 01:21 PM
Is that the highly desirable model made of up-market cardboard? :D
It was plastic not cardboard:)
BTW very bold technical decision for 1957..
Many Trabant still work and in good condition :), becouse the corrosion not much harmed to its chassis .
look under hood
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/61/Trabant_Engine_Block.jpg/800px-Trabant_Engine_Block.jpg
Nothing is superfluous:)
Even fuel-tank here:)

flamethrowerguy
10-26-2008, 01:23 PM
Looks suspectively familiar:)
Where did you see DDR police with PPSh?Haw many years back was it?.

Must have been before 1961. In September of 1961 the border police of the GDR was officially re-named into "Grenztruppen der DDR" (border troops of the GDR).


This was a Miracle of German high-tech industry.
The 600 kg two-stroke easy-parking car was launch that same year when the soviet Sputnik fly over the America for the first time, calling the panic:)
It was a perfect car that prodused for the 30 year modernizing slightly ( Why does have to modernize a Masterpiece?)
It was such maneuvreable car that West German Mersedess just s..ck :)

I drove both, each has its special virtues.
I remember being visited by a part of our family from the GDR right after the borders were opened. We drove in their Trabant through my (crowded) hometown. I will never forget the glances on peoples eyes.:mrgreen:


I always knew the Western Germans might do noting except luxury.

Absolutely, but we didn't take a 40-years-break like our eastern brothers and sisters.;)...but we are living in a time of changes once again, fuel -as an example- is luxury now.

Chevan
10-26-2008, 01:42 PM
Absolutely, but we didn't take a 40-years-break like our eastern brothers and sisters.;)...but we are living in a time of changes once again, fuel -as an example- is luxury now.
That's why soon your peoples of your hometown would look at Plastic 0,6 litres Trabant with ...envy;)
You might drive whole a week by one filling up, while they have to stay their 2-3-4 litres Mersedess/BMV at home and go to work by bicycle:)

flamethrowerguy
10-26-2008, 01:53 PM
That's why soon your peoples of your hometown would look at Plastic 0,6 litres Trabant with ...envy;)
You might drive whole a week by one filling up, while they have to stay their 2-3-4 litres Mersedess/BMV at home and go to work by bicycle:)

There is always the opportunity:
http://cgi.ebay.de/Trabant-P601-Kombi_W0QQitemZ230303635527QQcmdZViewItem?hash=ite m230303635527&_trkparms=72%3A1279%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C 240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

pdf27
10-26-2008, 04:07 PM
look under hood
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/61/Trabant_Engine_Block.jpg/800px-Trabant_Engine_Block.jpg
Nothing is superfluous:)
Even fuel-tank here:)
There may be nothing superfluous in there, but there appears to be something rather important missing. Namely an engine!

Chevan
10-27-2008, 12:30 AM
There may be nothing superfluous in there, but there appears to be something rather important missing. Namely an engine!

It should be a great advantage indeed :)
During age when fuel will cost so much to turn back to the Horse-drawn :)
BTW did you see the New Trabi

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/Herpa_newTrabi_Modell.jpg/800px-Herpa_newTrabi_Modell.jpg

It will cost 50 000 Euros :) Just like an Mersedess of C-class.

Librarian
10-28-2008, 06:20 PM
It was quite amazing interesting post dear Librarian. Thank you. I 've learned some things about DDR just now.

Oh, thank you very much, my dear Mr. Chevan. You know, I always liked those tranquil, contemplative moments in a foreign country. :)


And that Communist-Church DUALISM always wonder me… You know , it seem for me the Communism ideology ,in sense, was a ...Other form of Religion.

That certainly is a collosal philosophical theme, my dear Mr. Chevan. However, I think that it really is much more complex then usually supposed.

Whether we try to find a common element which is present in all societies of the world, or whether we seek to track down this element, in the end we will note that there is always in it an ingredient which is the reverse of rational. Reliance, or faith, emanates from the observed fact that man is both a finite being who is not wholly master of his fate and a rational being who obstinately refuses to be reconciled to the disturbing fact that - so far as his body is concerned - he comes to be and passes away and is never heard of again. :(

This is no place to go into the complicated question of how man has sought to prolong his existence, to identify it with a larger and more permanent whole, or to "get in" on the right side of the puzzling powers that rule the universe and thwart him at every turn if he does not know the secret of how to appease them, to approach them and to please them. Nevertheless, some discussion of these elements is necessary if we are to understand the curious phenomena of the tragically blank "secular" belief of today.

You see, the XX century inherited from the nineteenth an affecting faith in the ability of physical science to explain all things and to deliver man from the bondage to his environment. It was reared on the Creed of Progress which had been appropriately deduced from the immense expansion of scientific knowledge and the practical and constructive use to which that knowledge had been put. Early twentieth-century man was all too ready to equate the undoubted extension of man's control over matter with a corresponding improvement in his spiritual and moral estate. He could point to the abolition of the slave trade and of slavery, to an increased social consciousness, and to the development of democratic systems of government which were seen as the practical expression of the doctrine of the equality of man - a doctrine recognized by both Christians and their opponents, the modern communist heirs of the French Revolution. Faith in God therefore had been largely superseded by faith in the perfectibility of the human species by its own unaided efforts. The nightmare of original sin was driven deep down into the unconscious, and man saw himself as the sole master of his destiny. "Work out your own salvation with diligence", was the ruling credo of the times and also one of the sayings of the Buddha, and this is what our optimistic socialist forebears sought to do. Here, however, the parallel breaks down; for nineteenth-century optimism, secure in its faith in progress, looked forward to an age when science would have perfected all things. The Buddha was less naive: for though he preached that each individual must work out his own salvation alone, he had no illusions at all about the perfectibility of this world. How, indeed, could this world, unstable, impermanent, and in perpetual flux, this impure amalgam of dissatisfaction and pain, possibly be perfected? There could be no salvation in or for this world: that lay elsewhere.

Nineteenth-century rationalistic, scientifically based optimism – the very intellectual platform of communism – then, was comparable to Buddhism in the emphasis it laid on individual effort in the battle for individual salvation, but it differed from it profoundly in that it placed all its hopes on this world. Faith, then, it had: but faith in eternal life it had not. It offered rather a substitute for this angelic state - the perfectibility of the human species on this Earth. In its way this was a noble and altruistic ideal; for the partisans of progress - in theory at least! - ceased to worry about personal immortality and projected themselves into future generations of a perfected humanity.

These values, however, were rudely shaken by world wars, and by subsequently harshly undertaken popularization of the aqusitive culture based upon selfishness and greed. The WW2 demonstrated, among other things, that science, although she had the capacity to perfect the material lot of Man on Earth, had also the power utterly to destroy him. After the nuclear bomb perhaps for the first time in history the parable of the Third chapter of Genesis seemed to make obscure sense. The Tree of Knowledge proved a dangerous thing to play with if, at the same time, man preferred to ignore the existence of the Tree of Life. Material progress was shown, in bitter practice, to be in no sense a corollary to moral progress: it had been an absurd superstition to suppose that this could be so. One of the lessons that the World War taught us was that revolution, both industrial and political, had cut us off from our past. We had lost our old faith, my dear Mr. Chevan, and the substitute faith had proved as an impractical delusion. Furthermore, we were subsequntly told that every faith, or every reliance is completely irrelevant to the immediate concerns of daily life. The Gadarene swine won the battle, and defeted our metaphysical reliance. Consequently, we had ceased to be reliant any more. :(

Moreover, it is here that the great dark shadow of universal doubt has fallen darkly on what once was so radiantly bright, my dear Mr. Chevan. Because in these days there is an omnipresent fear - both here at my home and abroad - that we are thickening and hardening into a mold that denies the deeper and nobler promise of the New World. We are distracted, diverted, bewildered today. But the tragic folly now would be to surrender the opportunity because the door has been so little used.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/CalvinHobbes-Universeandhumanrace.gif

Universe and present-day Humanity

Man alone, my dear Mr. Chevan, is capable of asking what he will do with his life, with the little span of time allotted to him. And likewise he can help to shape the society of which he is a part - for good or for ill. It is in this choice that sets man apart and enables him in the face of an infinite universe to call his soul his own. To believe that he will reject this choice is to admit to utter despair. To resist the mood of pessimism in a time such as ours is not easy. Yet, there are many today who refuse to surrender to the conformity of fear and doubt, to a gloom that is as unreasoning as the facile optimism of a short time ago. They are rediscovering the inheritance so long taken for granted, the foundation so overgrown and obscured. And no, this is no retreat into the comforting enclosure of the past. Rather it is an effort to confront man's loneliness, his fragmentation, his islolation from what has gone before. One may say, with due caution, that this is a first step, this rediscovery of the basically perilous place in which we find ourselves and of the confused and careless way by which we got there. In a sence – that is the beginning of a new hope.

Oh, Lord – yet again an utterly boring philosophical inquiry into the nature of human values in the modern world… Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

Therefore, back to the reminiscences about the DDR! ;)

Librarian
10-28-2008, 06:29 PM
DDR - Part II

While DDR housewives may queued for vegetables, nothing was spared on the behalf of the development of the young. The young were hope of the socialist future!

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-12.jpg

May Day – Young DDR Pioneers

In the district of Köpenick, a million and a half children a year enjoyed in a colossal Pioneer Palace, a complex of sports and hobby facilities (Olympic-size swimming pool, gymnasium, ballet studio, rooms for chemistry, pottery, puppetry, model-airplane building, folk-singing, etc.). One room simulated space flight, with videotaped scenes of earth during blast-off. All free.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-19.jpg

Pioneer Palace – after a swim in the Palace pool young pioneers dry their hair (bubble-gum was available as well!)

Although the state heatedly separated itself from the Nazi past, old Prussian military traditions had not lost a stride in the DDR! On the contrary, it seemed that the omnipresent remnants of the Prussian Socialism were deeply embedded in the society. Prussian roots and their positive societal collocations were acknowledged by a cautious but increasingly confident state. And the word "German" was used without a bitter taste of the discreditable past. Most simbolycally, the equestrian statue of Frederick the Great, banished to Potsdam for 30 years, has been remounted on its pedestal on Unter den Linden. All day people just looked at the old "Comrade Fritz". Moreover, I also have to admit that after watching the presented military excellence and perfectionism of the Wachregiment der Stadtkommandantur Berlin it seemed to me that even Der Alte Fritz’s face looked somehow different… someway more satisfied, with a gentle smile upon his bronze lips. Apparently, I was not the only one who was impressed…

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-8.jpg

Professional colleagues from the other side of the hill were also impressed by the NVA - Stechschritt

In 1945 more than half of all Germany was physically destroyed. And whereas the West was quickly restored with Marshall Plan money, East was further ravaged by a badly tormented and initially resentful Soviet Union, who additionally was not widely admired. Industries and resources were stripped, reconstruction seemed hoples - that was base zero when the time began for the new social order. However, with a few raw materials but brown coal, German mind, laborious hands, shared aims and amicable internationalist alliance, the DDR has become the world’s tenth most productive industrial nation and the second economy of the world capable to achieve 5.5 % net-growth in a period of general recession in 1973. Products varied from model trains at VEB Berliner TT-Bahnen to thyristor-driven locomotives at VEB Lokomotivbau Elektrotechnische Werke "Hans Beimler" in Henningsdorf, but they were accepted and esteemed in 144 diferrent states, both socialist and capitalist.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-5.jpg

VEB Karl Zeiss, Jena – synonym for quality and technical finesse

Leipzig, another of Germany’s medieval trade centers, shared with Dresden and Berlin the commercial leadership of the state. Dresden, a commercial city flanking the broad Elbe, showed that commerce and art may be combined. Chemnitz, noted for its textiles, contributed much to the fame of Saxony. In Leipzig people were busily engaged in all kinds of printing and in directing the world’s outstanding Sample Fairs, where numerous products from countries all over the world competed peacefully with each other. Thousends of buyers, representing nearly every country where industrial equipment is used arrived there. Almost every variety of article of merchandise was displayed by manufacturers from far and near. Buyers in some years numbered as many as 180,000.

These fairs offered an excellent opportunity for a visitor, whoever he was, a buyer or not, to become acquainted in a short time with the kinds of commodities in which many countries trade. Rich and poor, farmers and bankers, all attended the fairs. There one was able to observe numerous nationalities among the sellers, buyers and spectators.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-14.jpg

Leipziger Messe – lively place of international trade

Most East Germans used their weekends for the pursuit of leisure – the serious, methodical pursuit of people actually learning how to relax again. The parks and numerous sports facilities were filled with earnest legions of runners, swimmers, bicyclists and riders.

One of the most interesting places in the Dresden area was the Moritzburg. This beautiful Baroque palace, surrounded partly by water, was previously used chiefly as a hunting lodge, since it was located in the midst of woods through which many streams flow. The annual stallion parade was a more recent tradition, but those lazy days on the banks, amongst pines and oaks and shy East German campers were indeed wonderful. In the evening each family erected a little canvas fence around its campsite, and portable TV sets flickered with soccer games.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-13.jpg

Moritzburg – wonderful place for rest and contemplation

There borders and world politics seemed distant, the life affluent with coffee at outdoor tables, and even the voice of the most gentle Princess who ruled and forever will live in our hearts, Audrey Hepburn, was there with the immoertal Moon River… unce upon a time in one of the least provincial parts of the world.

To be continued… with some generally unknown but highly intriguing details about that unfortunate and brutally ridiculed little vehicle.;)

flamethrowerguy
10-29-2008, 06:54 AM
DDR/GDR "Days of Honour":

- "Day of the Labourers of Mail and Telecommunications" - every second sunday in February
- "Day of the Civil Defence" - February 11th
- "Day of the Employees of Trading" - every thirs sunday in February
- "Day of the NVA (National People's Army)" - March 1st
- "International Women's Day" - March 8th
- "Day of the Metal Worker" - second sunday in April
- "International Day of Action and Holiday of the Labourers" - May 1st
- "Day of Liberation from Hitler-Fascism" - May 8th
- "Day of the Youth Brigades" - in May or June
- "International Day of the Infant" - June 1st
- "Day of the Employees of Railway- and Traffic-System" - first or second Sunday in June
- "Day of the Teacher" - June 12th
- "Day of the Collective-Farmers and Workers of the socialist Forestry and Agriculture" - second or third Sunday in June
- "Day of the Labourers of Water Management" - second or third Sunday in June
- "Day of the Construction Worker" - third or fourth Sunday in June
- "Day of German People's Police (Volkspolizei)" - June 1st
- "Day of the Miner and Energy-Labourer" - first Sunday in July
- "World Peace Day" - September 1st
- "Day of the Employees of Housekeeping Service and Municipal Economy" - third Saturday in September
- "Day of the Republic (GDR's national holiday)" - October 7th
- "Day of Maritime Traffic Economy" - October 13th
- "Day of the Employees of Light Industry and Food Industry" - third Saturday in October
- "Victory of the Grand Socialistic October's Revolution" - November 7th
- "World Youth Day" - November 10th
- "Day of the Chemical Labourer" - second Sunday in November
- "International Student's Day" - November 17th
- "Day of the Metallurgist" - third Sunday in November
- "Day of the Border Troops of the GDR" - December 1st
- "Day of Public Health Service" - December 11th
- "Pioneers Anniversary" - December 13th

Of couse these weren't all "days-off". Only on the following days there was no work duty: International Day of Action and Holiday of the Labourers, Day of the Republic, New Years Day, Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Restitvtvs
11-02-2008, 12:46 PM
(answering earlier question about why the Berlin Wall as built)

Tough one.
The "Entente" because of Versailles treaty?
Hitler for starting WW2?
The Soviet Union for having the need for an "anti-fascist protective barrier"?

You're pick.

We can also add that reasons included it was communists' measure to reduce the flow of emmigrees from the east to the west.

Soviets and East Germans wanted to rebuild East Germany, to improve East German living and economic conditions, and it helped East German, in various senses, pay war reparations to the Soviets.

Losing people didn't help from some perspectives.

It also looked bad for the Soviet Union and communism as a political/social/economic system and way of life, to have so many people "vote" with ther feet to leave for good.

I'm sure we could add more reasons why they built the Berlin Wall, against that non-communist exclave island of "West Berlin" that was deep within East Germany.

These factors and other were still evident in the early to mid-1980's, while I travelled by train along several allowed rail travel corridors through East Germany, to and from West Germany and West Berlin. Still evident dispite obvious effort to dress the windows and give false image of conditions in East Germany. Sehr Schön, lieder falsch.

Librarian
11-06-2008, 05:07 PM
I'm sure we could add more reasons why they built the Berlin Wall, against that non-communist exclave island of "West Berlin" that was deep within East Germany.

Indeed, we could my dear Mr. Restitutus. The "antifascist protective barrier", as the East Germany called the Wall, was erected by the GDR in august of 1961, to stem a mass emigration to the West - loss of three million people that threatened the foundation of the new state. But the main reason for the nascendence of the Wall was the fact that the World War II has never actually ended, especially there in Berlin, because the final result of the WW 2 was a victory without peace. However, at the very end, the main direct cause for the nascendence of the Wall was the unprecendented success of pretty unknown operations Mighty Wurlitzer and Splinter Factor.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-20.jpg

The Wall – Bernauer Strasse

As you know, between 1945 and 1961 Berlin was the hot point of the Cold War – highly specific state of international affairs, born out of the division of Europe and based upon the irrational fear that the Communist bloc will launch another full-scale war. But the grim nature of the balance of terror that aggravated the somberness of the political outlook was the fact that the division of the world actually was a fundamental economic division, desperately despised by the prominent members of the yesterday-world. The main problem actually was the grim goal of a re-creation of the "liberal world economy", i.e. a world economy dominated indirectly through "free" markets in goods and capital, more precisely by a few powerful countries which failed in Great Depression. The post WW2 Master Plan to turn the clock back to 1914, however, had broken down, because the world was not the same any more. An attempt to implement this previously mentioned general plan actually endangered the very existence of the modern Europe.

The solution of this difficulty was due to a new element in the international political situation. This new element was the growing antagonism of the two Giant States which were left dominant - each in its own sphere - after the conflict which shaterred the strength of Europe. The Potsdam Agreement of the summer of 1945 represented the last flicker of mutual understanding. The Americans resented the attacks of the Communist parties on U.N.R.R.A. and the simultaneous steady increase of their share in its total burden (in the end 77 %), and were exasperated by the deterioration in political position in Eastern Europe. They were far from realizing that even this proportion did not quite adequately express their relative ability to bear economic sacrifice. Whether or not the political or economic exasperation was the main cause of the demise of U.N.R.R.A. is difficult to decide. But wound-up it was in Europe in 1947, and soon afterwards in Asia too.

The Moscow Conference, which tried to arrive at some definite agreement on Germany, broke down, and American hostility to the Soviets became open. The American origin of the Morgenthau plan for destroying Germany as an industrial state was forgotten – a plan the partial implementation of which had prevented a speedy restoration of the vanquished and a utilization of her resources and skill to repair the damage she had inflicted on Europe. The erstwhile enemy rapidly advanced into the position of a prized potential ally.

When it became clear that Europe was drifting into a crisis, the invitation of the Soviet Union to participate in the Paris Conference on European Economic Reconstruction was hardly conducive to making the US Congress, dominated, as it was, by hard-liner Republicans, amenable to granting a generous unilateral contribution to the world. The brusque withdrawal of Molotov opened the doors to help for Western Europe. The acceptance by the US Congress of the European Recovery Programme initiated by General Marshall represented a fundamental departure in economic relations between sovereign countries in peace time. It was similar to war-time arrangements such as the English subsidies in the XIX century, or Land Lease and U.N.R.R.A. Immediate need rather than ability to repay, or the possibility of profitable investment was made the criterion of economic relations between the dominant and the peripheral countries.

The short-term success of the new approach was striking: production in Europe expanded in the following 18 months by over a fifth. By 1950 it had expanded to 21 % above pre-war levels. Agricultural output, which had been lagging behind, also recovered. Equally impressive was the performance in the international field. The visible adverse balance of the Western European countries with the rest of the world fell from some $ 6 billion in 1947 to $ 4,2 billion in the second half of 1948. This achievement was the more remarkable in that consumption standards improved substantially and investment expanded simultaneously.

The long term plans of the Western European countries initiated by the US were to have stabilized and extended this recovery. The weakness of the approach was that it did not offer any incentive to individual member countries for increasing investment and holding back consumption. Indeed, the morer a country tried to rely on its own efforts the grater was the danger that its share in the total aid would be cut. Nor did the Europeans try, or the Americans insist on, an effective coordination of European investment plans. And thus a unique opportunity was lost of increasing productivity and competitiveness. Finaly, far from having regard to the relative wealth of the countries aided, the immediate political end of the plans plainly manifested itself: in order to to still immediate discontent the existing maldistribution of wealth in Europe was accepted. The richer areas received most of the money! And that was only a pale start…

Developments in the Soviet orbit, though not free from sharp set-backs in some fields, especially agriculture, have given further proof of continued and ferocious energy in expanding supra-national productive capacity. All indicators suggested that the economic achievements of the ill-fated Soviets, previously completely neglected by western military and economic strategists, will pose awkward problems for the West. A correct appraisal in the West, and especially in the US, of the Soviet economic system and its potentialities has noty been easy. All of free world traditions revolted against acknowledging its tremendous dynamism. After corrections for overstatements, all evidence indicated that national output in the Soviet Union, which could hardly have been more than two-thirds of pre-war in 1946, by 1950 exceeded pre-war levels! Since then progress has slowed down, but it seemed probable that the increase in total Soviet output is of the order of magnitude of at least 6 to 7% compound per annum. The other problem was that mathematicians at RAND calculated that it might well be higher, possibly as high as 9 %! The rate of growth of manufacturing production alone seemed to have been substantially higher, possibly as high as 11%! In other words, my dear Mr. Restitutus, Soviet production doubled every twelve years or so. This was compared with an increase of American manufacturing capacity of roughly 5 to 6 % compound per annum between 1946 and 1953, and with a British increase of about the same order of magnitude until 1950 and again in 1953-54. Overall production in the West in the West increased much less – between 3 and 4 %. That predestined that coursed Soviet Union will be able, in a decade or so, to obtain a substantial absolute preponderance over Western Europe unless energetic action is taken by the West. Success in the economic field could surely not accrue to a system so… cruel, unnatural! No way - it must be reserved for Free Private Enterprise! Therefore all the necessary actions were undertaken…

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/USSRGNP-1.jpg

Official US estimation regarding the Soviet bloc GDP growth


Forced brake of the post due to well known techical reasons. :roll: To be continued...

Librarian
11-06-2008, 05:16 PM
Part II

As beautifully described in a book The Declassified Eisenhower by Blanche Cook, "since nuclear Armageddon was unacceptable, the US administration pursued alternative means to ensure America's dominance in the race against the Soviet Union and in the race to secure access to the world's resources and markets. That was, basically, a commitment to a laissez faire, classicistic liberal economy. Others called it Empire philosophy. Whatever it is called, to control the world's resources and defend them against nationalists and communists proved to be an ongoing and draining experience."

Throughout the decade following the war, the CIA was highly active and utterly succesful in forming the flames of discontent in whole Eastern Europe, besides – in magnificently many ways. Radio Free Europe, broadcasting from West Germany, never missed a dirty trick.

In January of 1952, for example, after CIA learned that Czechoslowakia was planning to devalue its currency, it constantly vexed the population, thus stimulating a nation wide buying panic. RFE commentaries, previously proffesionally prearranged by distinguished Madison Avenue proffesionals and agencies hired by CIA, like Ted Bates & Co. (later held guilty by the Federal Trade Commision due to deceptive advertising when they used a plexiglass mock-up of a sheet of sandpaper in a TV commercial which claimed that a Colgate-Palmolive shaving cream could shave sandpaper!), J. Walter Thompson, Interpublic Inc, Young and Rubicam, etc.

Western Cold Warriaors instituted also a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion against East Germany designed to throw the economic and administrative machinery out of gear. The CIA and other US intelligence services in West Germany, with occasional help from the likes of British intelligence and the West German police, recruited, equipped, trained and financed different activist groups and individuals of West and East. Finding crusade was not difficult, for in post-war Germany anti-communism lived on as the only respective vestige of Nazism.

The most active of these groups, which went by the name of Fighting Group Against Inhumanity, admitted that it had received financial support from the Ford Foundation and the West Berlin government. Subsequently, an East Berlin newsmagazine published a copy of a letter from the Ford Foundation confirming a grant of $ 150,000 to the National Comitee for a Free Europe so that it, in turn, could support the humanitarian activities of The Fighting Group Against Inhumanity. The National Comitee for a Free Europe, in turn, was a CIA front organization which also ran Radio Free Europe.

Of course, all this awkward activities turned into public affair and a worldwide scandal only later, more precisely in 1963, when a former US diplomat Irvin Scarbeck was convicted of delivering US governmental secrets to a Polish agent.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/MightyWurlitzer-Scarbeck.jpg

Irvin Scarbeck – US diplomat who uncovered secret Western operations in DDR

In a completely traditionalist, absolutely standardized "Honeypot" operation, perforemed by brave and talented agents of the Polish secret service (Służba Bezpieczeństwa Ministerstwa Spraw Wewnętrznych), Polish agent Ursula Maria Discher was prepared to act as Mr. Scarbeck’s mistress, and after that he was succesfully persuaded to protect her from an imaginary public disclosure by feeding different US governmental secrets to Polish agents who had photographed them in flagrante delicto.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/MightyWurlitzer-UrsulaDischer.jpg

Ursula Discher – brave Polish secret agent

Obtained informations also discovered that different formaly non-governmental, but actually clandestine organizations purchased escapes of East German citizens and charged from $ 14,000 to $ 60,000 per body. The US student Robert Mann got 21-month jail term in East Berlin when he was exposed as a secret agent who served as a main fleeing organizer in East Berlin.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/MightyWurlitzer-RobertMann.jpg

US Student Robert Mann

Tightened security measures were introduced when the German unity no longer seemed plausible, and succesfully inhibited further activities. Strangely enough, this tenuous stability was highly dependable upon the Wall, which has restored order to the chaos of daily confrontations.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-18.jpg

Berlin Wall - the antifascist protective barrier of the GDR

Ironically, Berlin began divided, as two small XIII century traiding settlements – Berlin and Kölln – on the opposite banks of the river Spree. Neither town was disposed to unity, even after town fathers forged a political allience around 1300. The armed forces of the United States, Great Brittain, and France, always called "protective" rather than "occupation" powers - unlike the Soviet Union - still maintained a presence in the city according to wartime and postwar agreements, entrenched in their respective sectors.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/Berlin-West.jpg

The US Army patrol in Berlin-Kreuzberg

Showing allied muscels alongside the Wall, notably less-photographed US units also patroled the edges of West Berlin. If West Berlin was to be attacked, there would be an anctive defense, as stated by former Maj. Gen. Calvert P. Benedict, commandant of the US forces in Berlin. However, all has been quiet on the front. The 12,000 troops of the Western allies seemed almost symbolic, like the Swiss Guards at the Vatican, because the city of west Berlin was encircled by half a million soldiers of the Warsaw Pact – 350,000 Russians and 150,000 East Germans.

Fortunately, when the Quadripartite agreement arrived in 1971, the West finally acknowledged the East German state, paving the way for both Germanys’ entry into the United nations in 1973. Since then Berlin has remained surprisingly stable in a world atmosphere crackling with freshly introduced Détente.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DDR-10.jpg

US confirmation - as life in the GDR improved, escapes desiccated

But that prosperous and now so utterly remote epoch was part of a completely different story… promoted this time by a new political tune Unser Opa, unser Opa, ist der beste von Europa - boldly played by both SPD and SED.

Of course, the intellectual heredity in the rear of the tune was well known. And honestly - highly amiable. :D

http://boomp3.com/listen/elux8hb_p/wir-sind-des-geyers-schwarze-haufen

To be continued...

Restitvtvs
02-14-2009, 08:31 AM
Indeed, we could...

Dear Librarian: Thank you very much for excellent overview of western Cold War non-military activities. :) As a frequent researcher/library patron and former librarian, my hat is off to you!

Eastern Cold War non-military activities are also quite numerous and intriguing, as we have been getting more information after the Berlin Wall and other barriers came down.

Of course, all information is requires careful scrutiny. :cool:

Related to both east & west, one of my favorite Cold War period movies is "One, Two, Three" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055256/) (1961), starring James Cagney.

Thanks again. Best regards, +r

Librarian
02-18-2009, 03:52 PM
My dear Mr. Restitutus – what can I say? Thank you very much for those truly kind words! As a professional librarian I was repeatedly faced with the problem which is generally know as compressibility of information, and - as you know - this problem never was an easy one to solve. Even in the dawn of the modern world, when Saint Isidore of Seville tried to compress into a single work the extent of factual knowledge available to his contemporaries, it was already impossible to compress all the important facts. And by now one of the chief difficulties which beset the researcher in any field is that he has to spend most of his already sadly limited time checking what is available before he can even hope to make any original contribution to his subject. :(

Yes, my dear Mr. Restitutus, without any doubt any attempt to evaluate the true-life situation of those days must necessarily lack the documented facts. Nevertheless, I somehow do feel that the present-day historian ought at least to edge his way modestly in where bolder spirits run freely. :)

However, it has to be emphasized that those times were truly extraordinary ones, truly bold and optimistic, fulfilled with enormous perspective of a silky, faultless world, in which – as stated by Madame Dorothy Row

...We'll just a press a button for food or for drink,
For washing the dishes or cleaning the sink.
We'll ride in a rocket instead of a car.
And life will be streamlined...
After the war.

But the unbridled joy that swept the world as the WW2 ended was short – lived. To solve the immense problems of economic reconstruction, it was necessary for governments to play a much larger part than ever before in the economic and social life of numerous countries. During the war, governments had controlled the economy to ensure a maximum war effort, and they did that tremendously well. Many argued that if such control was effective in wartime, it should also work in dealing with numerous problems of post-war reconstruction. Moreover, the horrors of war had not blotted out of memory terrible sufferings of the Depression years in thirties. If governments could raise huge sums of money to fight wars, surely they could also finance programmes that would eliminate the evil conditions which bred wars.

Such considerations produced widespread public demand for political, social and economic reforms. But numerous examples of concealed backstage political choreography of already existing, well-established associations and interest groups have demonstrated that there will be hard difficulties in fulfilling in practice the new societal theories. Opposing philosophical models, mutual rivalry and deliberately generated suspicion tended to divide both the freshly established United Nations and the whole world into two hostile camps poised against each other. Irony of the moment was that Soviet Communism and American Capitalism actually represented an sadly distorted development of the strong and vivid, deeply embedded liberalistic passion for intellectual absolutes, with amazingly similar and actually shared high-end, generally know as Heaven on Earth For All.

Oddly, but in those times in certain parts of the planet even the forces of Armageddon were fruitfully engaged in a push for material progress. Tourists, for example, were encouraged to view the nuclear blasts from the middle of the town, or on the rooftops of the hotels. After all, those compulsive gamblers concealed in every single human being were barely able to notice the rumble, not even to mention the afterglow…

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/VivaLasVegas.jpg

Also, I was very pleased to read about your affection toward Cold War era movies, because I do share that affection as well. For me, hovewer, "The Russians Are Coming" (directed by Mr. Norman Jewison) is representing one of the best film comedy features, even though it never was a popular box office film. It was way ahead of its time, and it still is ahead of its time today, being incredibly modern, and deeply humanistic in its narrative approach. Mr. Alan Arkin, if truth is to be said, actually deserved an Oscar, and that line "Emergency! Everybody to get from the street!" still is amongst the most hilarious in any film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXXGep9RB34&feature=related

Once agin, my dear Mr. Restitutus – thank you very much for your kind words! I hope that I will be able to do honor to all my liabilities. Time will be the only killing-factor in my humble efforts... :)

royal744
08-31-2013, 06:14 PM
That's why soon your peoples of your hometown would look at Plastic 0,6 litres Trabant with ...envy;)
You might drive whole a week by one filling up, while they have to stay their 2-3-4 litres Mersedess/BMV at home and go to work by bicycle:)

Or you can get a Toyota Prius and only fill up once very 2-3 weeks, LOL and stop messing with over-priced German engineering, LOL...

Nickdfresh
09-01-2013, 08:42 AM
LOL My mother bought a Mercury Milan (Ford Fusion/Ford Mondeo) Hybrid in May, and I think she recently just put gas in it the third time...