I agree with the wall and the shootings. The people that left the GDR were taking with them state-sponsored education and benefits. They were the definition of free-loaders. It's the equivalence of the US killing Awlaki because he used state interests for the destruction of the state. The GDR was not so terrible that people were running for the border in mass numbers, so it seems a bit silly to want to risk being shot to make a lot of money.
I think the biggest harm from the wall was less people genuinely wanting to leave, and more the idea that people couldn't leave. "oh yeah? Says who?" basically.
Soviet America is Free America!
Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
The state paid for my education and a lot of other things, does that mean I shouldn't have the right to leave the UK?
Now what is this…
You shouldn't expect the UK not to call a bounty on your head if you use your education to move to Yemen or the DPRK and openly oppose them through military means, especially if you do it illegally.
It's not an appropriate comparison: If you're a rebel/insurgent militarily opposing their government they'd put a bounty, but they probably wouldn't put a bounty over people who just leave.
They probably wouldn't even call a bounty on your head if you were to defect to, say, Cuba or North Korea... Unless you'd just stolen lots of classified information or done anything significant to piss'em off. Most countries tolerate economic emigration and civilian defections. Exit visas are uncommon. Shooting civilians that attempt to emigrate is a rarity.
Cm'on baby, eat the rich!!! - Motörhead
Abandoning socialism is adopting a bourgeoisie mentality and becoming an advocate for the bourgeoisie. They are class enemies, and should be treated as such. Brain drain is a problem in socialist countries that should be prevented to preserve the intellectual interests of socialism.
I agree with the building of the wall, but not with shooting people who cross.
At the time that the Wall went up, East Germany was facing a situation entirely different from contemporary Britain's. The country's survival was quite literally at stake, with an ideologically hostile but ethno-culturally close state right on its border and even within its heart in the form of West Berlin. The country was literally losing its best minds to a brain drain seen only by the world's most underdeveloped countries, in part out of a real desire to live a better life but also because of Western programs aimed at bankrupting and humiliating the East (similar programs existed for Soviet emigres and for Cubans).
That's a strictly worded ideological argument, but I doubt it would do much to convince the average joe of the rightness of the Wall, or of East Germany's generally strict emigration procedures.
"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
I voted for the Wall and for the shooting of those illegally trying to cross it in either direction.
The DDR did have an emigration policy in place, it was possible to leave, just not easy. The Federal Republic of Germany did pay compensation to the DDR for the emigration of literally thousands of DDR citizens and rightly so. You were guaranteed an education, a home, a job, medical care, the basics of life and much more. You were not going to be living in the streets in the DDR. All of those things cost money. From birth to your late teens / early twenties, you were essentially a "taker" and contributed practically nothing to society, those people along with the highly educated folks with advanced degrees in engineering, medicine, etc, who paid NOTHING for those educations, were the ones attempting to "escape" and take with them all that they had been given. That is theft, pure and simple.
No such guarantees were made in the West and till today, the US is fighting tooth and toenail over health care reform, one of the most basic rights a human being can have and truly needs.
For those who are interested, there is a very interesting website to explore, it has multiple pictures of the Wall and the surrounding barriers that encircled the Independent Political Unit of West Berlin.
Fascinating to explore, to access the pics, click on focus points and then view details in one of the sub categories that interest you, you will see a small window with a pic in the lower right hand section of the screen, click on it and it brings up a large view of the pic and you can scroll through them.
I chose the second option. While I can agree with points made about brain drain and proximity to culturally-similar West Germany, the shooting of people crossing the border only handed the West yet another weapon in their propaganda arsenal. Making emigration bureaucratically cumbersome, and then arresting escapees on the charge of "not following proper emigration procedures" would have been a more diplomatic approach.
And the Wall was not built for that purpose alone. It was built as a response to a concerted sabotage/terrorism campaign that the West waged on East Germany, manipulating the formerly porous borders. When defending the Wall, we should be focusing on that aspect of the protection that the Wall afforded East Germany.
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
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