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Re: [xmca] Berlin Wall

Interestingly, tonight I went to a seminar on the fall of the wall and what has happened since with five German speakers. One, an interesting character called Gerd Koenen related that he was working with an American NBC news team. He said that when the news came that the border gates had been opened in Berlin, the Americans instantly believed it, while the Germans were extremely sceptical and their news teams didn't appear on the streets until a bit later. He also spoke about the different attitudes, with the Americans thinking something like 'Hurray, we knew we beat communism one day'. Several of the speakers talked about how far apart the two lots of Germans had grown over the 40 years of the GDR.

I was in Berlin at New Year 89-90 (as I was in 88-9 and 90-91) and managed to get hauled up onto a bit of the wall just behind the Brandenburg Gate. I also took a photo of a smiling young East German border guard looking through a hole in the wall and talking to the people on the Western side. There was also a clear presence of dissident slogans and organisations in the exhibition area under the Fernsehturm on the Alexanderplatz. An amazing atmosphere but also a feeling that nobody was really in control of what would happen next, which led to the initiative falling to those who seemed to provide the most immediate solution.

Bruce R

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tony Whitson" <twhitson@UDel.Edu>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2009 10:05 PM
Subject: Re: [xmca] Berlin Wall

I just saw a brief TV clip, which got me wondering:

I don't know this in any scientific way, but I would not be surprised if people in the USA are under an impression that the Berlin Wall came down because of Ronald Reagan.

On Mon, 9 Nov 2009, David Preiss wrote:

Dear colleagues

Does anybody know of a good poem to remember the (fall of the) Berlin Wall?

And / or the Stasi and the damage of / to the human soul?

I was looking for some but was unable to find.

20 years is too early, maybe?

Or, beyond the fireworks, did we already forget?

David Preiss

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Tony Whitson
UD School of Education
NEWARK  DE  19716


"those who fail to reread
 are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
                  -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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