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Democracy, East Germany and the Berlin Wall

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Soviet cogitations: 92
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Jun 2009, 04:00
Pioneer
Post 09 Nov 2009, 07:05
Comrades,

Today's the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Please let's take this time to examine what that was really all about.

For your consideration:

Quote:
The GDR was more democratic, in the original and substantive sense of the word, than eastern Germany was before 1949 and than the former East Germany has become since the Berlin Wall was opened in 1989. It was also more democratic than its neighbor, West Germany. While it played a role in the GDR’s eventual demise, the Berlin Wall was at the time a necessary defensive measure to protect a substantively democratic society from being undermined by a hostile neighbor bent on annexing it.

http://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/20 ... rlin-wall/
Study Marxism through the concrete analysis of past and contemporary national liberation struggles and class struggles: http://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/
Soviet cogitations: 102
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Oct 2009, 14:21
Pioneer
Post 09 Nov 2009, 12:50
Dear Comradezero

Thank you for your very interesting post and link. In the current issue of 'Socialist Review', there is a similar article regarding this very interesting subject.

Thank you.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 09 Nov 2009, 14:49
That is an awesome article. It didn't teach me anything new, but I certainly recommend to read it.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 3873
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 10 Nov 2009, 14:44
Quote:
Fall of Berlin Wall Caused Anxiety More than Joy at Highest Levels
Secret Documents Show Opposition to German Unification

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 293

Washington, D.C., November 7, 2009 - The fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago generated major anxiety in capitals from Warsaw to Washington, to the point of outright opposition to the possibility of German unification, according to documents from Soviet, American and European secret files posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive.

Solidarity hero Lech Walesa told West German chancellor Helmut Kohl on the very day the Wall would fall that "events in the GDR [East Germany] are developing too quickly" and "at the wrong time," that the Wall could fall in a week or two (it would be a matter of hours) and then Kohl and the West would shift all their attention and aid to the GDR, leaving poor Poland "in the background." And indeed, Kohl cut short his visit to Warsaw and flew back to Germany as soon as the news arrived of the breach of the Wall.

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher earlier had told Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev that "Britain and Western Europe are not interested in the unification of Germany. The words written in the NATO communiqué may sound different, but disregard them." Top Gorbachev aide Anatoly Chernyaev concluded that Thatcher wanted to prevent unification "with our hands" and not her own.

Former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski informed Soviet Politburo member Aleksandr Yakovlev, "I openly said that I am in favor of Poland and Hungary remaining in the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Both blocs should not be disbanded right now. I do not know what will happen if the GDR ceases to exist. There will be one Germany, united and strong. This does not correspond to either your or our interests."

One of the few highest-level expressions of joy over the fall of the Wall actually occurred in Moscow, in the diary of Gorbachev aide Chernyaev, who wrote on November 10, "The Berlin Wall has collapsed. This entire era in the history of the socialist system is over… That is what Gorbachev has done. And he has indeed turned out to be a great leader. He has sensed the pace of history and helped history to find a natural channel."

The new documents, most of them appearing in English for the first time, are part of the forthcoming book, "Masterpieces of History": The Peaceful End of the Cold War in Europe, 1989, edited by the National Security Archive's Svetlana Savranskaya, Thomas Blanton, and Vladislav Zubok and published by the Central European University Press (Budapest/New York) in the Archive's Cold War Reader series edited by Malcolm Byrne.


Very interesting article. If you go to the link, there are copies of all the documents supporting the article.
I've recently heard that it was a private negotiation between Kohl and Gorbachev, in order to remove the soviet influence over Germany and focus on soviet problems. But it seems Gorbachev wasn't able to win anything out of it.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 11 Nov 2009, 02:50
My step-brother is half German, raised in the West when he was younger, and remains a passionate conservatist. Often he has expressed his anti-communist views, which I usually just ignore, as I've always figured that it couldn't be helped. However with the anniversary of the collapse of the Wall, Dinner table conversation has invariably switched to East and West Germany, and with half of my family West Germans, the conversation is usually somewhat one-sided. However I've never truly given up on helping my step brother to see the true light of socialism (I was once a conservative like him, after all), and I've figured recently that If I can convince him of the merits of the GDR, a topic on his home-turf, so to speak, it might convince him to be a little more open minded. Articles like these were just what I needed. I can't expect him to read them of course, but I'll make a point of memorising some of the stuff in them. Ammunition, don't you know?

Still wondering how to counter arguments on the repressiveness of the Stasi (his, and many others' main trump card in these debates thus far). Made all the more difficult without hard statistics. I suppose one can juxtapose it with the outlawing of Marxists in the West, and the existance of Nazi ministers in the FGR's government.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 11 Nov 2009, 03:42
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"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 102
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Oct 2009, 14:21
Pioneer
Post 11 Nov 2009, 12:27
Dear Comrade Jingle_Bombs

Quote:
Still wondering how to counter arguments on the repressiveness of the Stasi (his, and many others' main trump card in these debates thus far). Made all the more difficult without hard statistics. I suppose one can juxtapose it with the outlawing of Marxists in the West, and the existance of Nazi ministers in the FGR's government.


Thank you for your post. The propaganda established in the West, has always been to depict the current 'other', (that is, the current 'out of favour' state, regime or movement'), with what Carl Jung termed the 'shadow'. defined briefly, the shadow is the psychological dustbin of both the individual and the State. Its content is said to be everything we consider to be wrong, dirty or degraded. This is relative of course, and changes over-time.

The Stasi are presented by the West as oppressive, when compared with the functioning of Western Police and intelligence agencies. This is obviously bias at the point of contact and has little to do with statistics or reality - as its judgemental base is flawed, and as consequence, nothing reliable can emerge from it. The Western powers are oppressive in their own effective ways. Many of us living in the West, have suffered a diminishing of personal freedom. Freedoms have benn legislated away in front of our eyes that do not see. We are mostly unaware of just how oppressive Western society has become.

The lie here is that the Stasi behaved in an immoral fashion. Demonstrating a disregard for the people that does not happen in the West. Even a simple investigation on Youtube, will reveal the extent of Police brutality in the West. But even the murdering of a Brazillian citizen on Stockwell Tube Station in London by armed British Police, an act of barbarity - does not serve to diminish their sense of moral superiority.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 11 Nov 2009, 14:33
The Stasi sucked. However, it was a necessary evil. The GDR was the border between Imperialism and Socialism - of course, security was incredibly important. There might have been other ways to protect the GDR from Imperialist infiltration, though... although I can't think of any other way to do it.

But you can tell your cousin that there are more surveillance cameras in Berlin today than there were surveillance microphones in all of the GDR.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 865
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2007, 06:42
Komsomol
Post 11 Nov 2009, 16:12
Quote:
The Stasi sucked. However, it was a necessary evil. The GDR was the border between Imperialism and Socialism - of course, security was incredibly important. There might have been other ways to protect the GDR from Imperialist infiltration, though... although I can't think of any other way to do it.

But you can tell your cousin that there are more surveillance cameras in Berlin today than there were surveillance microphones in all of the GDR.


Understandable that many people were not happy with the domestic organs of state security; but you have to give credit where credit is due. The HVA (Stasi's Foreign Intelligence Directorate) was outstanding and continues to set the precedent for foreign intelligence agencies the world-round. No foreign intelligence agency, civilian or military, could compete with Wolf's HVA.
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Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 11 Nov 2009, 16:40
Yeah, well, the HVA was obviously awesome in what it did. Also, the Stasi deserves credit for supplying the Red Army Faction with weapons and explosives, as well as protecting many of its members from Western criminal prosecution.

I should have watched my phrasing more carefully. I should have talked about the domestic organs of state security.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 865
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2007, 06:42
Komsomol
Post 11 Nov 2009, 18:34
Quote:
I should have watched my phrasing more carefully. I should have talked about the domestic organs of state security
.

The majority of complainers in regards to the MfS focus (mainly) on only one part of the massive ministry's operations (domestic intelligence gathering, surveillance and arrest). But Stasi counter-espionage/counter-intelligence was critical in helping to protect DDR industry against Western sabotage and espionage, and was vital to the Soviet/Eastern Bloc's preparations in the event of NATO aggression. Stasi foreign spies were able to get mountains of information not only from Bonn, but also NATO headquarters in Brussels, too.
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Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 11 Nov 2009, 18:44
Quote:
But Stasi counter-espionage/counter-intelligence was critical in helping to protect DDR industry against Western sabotage and espionage, and was vital to the Soviet/Eastern Bloc's preparations in the event of NATO aggression. Stasi foreign spies were able to get mountains of information not only from Bonn, but also NATO headquarters in Brussels, too.


I never denied this. As I said, the HVA was awesome in what it did.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 1
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Nov 2009, 07:07
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 20 Nov 2009, 12:28
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a democracy? People create and change the structure and power in governments to regulate (keep) the balance between individual rights and societal needs. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a democracy?
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 16 Jan 2010, 13:23
Quote:
But Stasi counter-espionage/counter-intelligence was critical in helping to protect DDR industry against Western sabotage and espionage


The "West" had to steal industrial secrets from the "East".?
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Soviet cogitations: 5167
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2007, 06:31
Embalmed
Post 16 Jan 2010, 18:07
Where did he say they were stealing secrets? He plainly stated that the west was active in sabotage and watching with a close eye east german industry.
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