[PHOTOS] The Last Days of East Germany: 40 Fascinating Photographs That Capture Everyday Life in Berlin in the late 1980sPosted: September 10, 2016
From vintage everyday: Between 1961 and 1989, the Berlin Wall divided East and West Germany and prevented the mass defection that took place after World War II. It also acted as a symbolic partition between democracy and Communism during the Cold War period. The wall was erected in the middle of the night, but it was torn down just as quickly 28 years later, leading to Germany’s reunification.
In January 1988, Erich Honecker paid a state visit to France. By all indications, the long stretch of international isolation appeared to have been successfully overcome. The GDR finally seemed to be taking its long-sought place among the international community of nations. In the minds of the GDR’s old-guard communists, the long-awaited international political recognition was seen as a favorable omen that seemed to coincide symbolically with the fortieth anniversary of the East German state.
Mayor Carda Seidel was quoted by Munich’s Focus magazine as saying that the explosion late Sunday night was near the entrance to an open-air music festival.
The website for a group of local newspapers, nordbayern.de, reported that Seidel said it was not yet clear if it was an attack.
German police told the dpa news agency earlier that the explosion was outside a cafe in Ansbach, which is near Nuermberg.
Ansbach police could not immediately be reached for comment. Read the rest of this entry »
Europe’s openness rests on America’s strength—you can’t have one without the other.
In short, a flat world. Whatever happened to that?
In the early 1990s, Israel’s then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres published a book called “The New Middle East,” in which he predicted what was soon to be in store for his neighborhood. “Regional common markets reflect the new Zeitgeist,” he gushed. It was only a matter of time before it would become true in his part of the world, too.
I read the book in college, and while it struck me as far-fetched it didn’t seem altogether crazy. The decade from 1989 to 1999 was an age of political, economic, social and technological miracles. The Berlin Wall fell. The Soviet Union dissolved. Apartheid ended. The euro and Nafta were born. The first Internet browser was introduced. Oil dropped below $10 a barrel, the Dow topped 10,000, Times Square became safe again. America won a war in Kosovo without losing a single man in combat.
Contrast this promised utopia with the mind-boggling scenes of tens of thousands of Middle East migrants, marching up the roads and railways of Europe, headed for their German promised land. The images seem like a 21st-century version of the Völkerwanderung, the migration of nations in the late Roman and early Medieval periods. Desperate people, needing a place to go, sweeping a broad landscape like an unchanneled flood. Read the rest of this entry »
The Emerging Liberal Dystopia
In a recent installment of the infamous “New Rules” segment of the HBO show titled after himself, Maher tackled the trendy topic of the release of Donald Sterling’s recorded remarks. Only instead of falling in line with the mainstream liberal media’s inexorable march for political correctness in this as in all cases—instead of focusing on the “racist” dimension of Sterling’s comments, that is — Maher decided to buck the well-worn mantle of his ideology and, instead, focus on the real story. That is: instead of playing into the fabricated narrative predictably constructed by the pervasively liberal media, Maher saw what is really at stake in a case like this — namely free speech, privacy, and our Fourth Amendment rights.
The terrifying reality is that we are on the verge of, and moving ever closer to, a liberal dystopia in which speech is directly policed, and thought thereby indirectly policed; one in which principles of political correctness replace moral standards as the ultimate criteria of normative evaluation; one in which the chilling effects on discourse has become a deep freeze. Maher himself made the perfect historical analogy during the May 9 show, which is somewhat ironic:
“Who wants to live in a world where the only place you can speak your mind is in your head? That’s what East Germany was like. That’s why we fought the Cold War, remember? So we’d never have to live in some awful limbo where you never knew who, even among your friends, was an informer. And now we’re doing it to ourselves.”
In the far distant future of 1985, a multi-national crew rockets out to the planet Venus, only to find its population was long ago wiped out by the misuse of nuclear power. A co-production from East Germany and Poland, this science fiction film was released in the Soviet Union and Soviet bloc countries under the translated title Silent Star. It was re-edited and released in the US as First Spaceship on Venus in 1962 by Crown International.