I love it. It’s my favourite thing ever. I can tweet all day and people are nice about it. I always find more to talk about. Tbh someone should pay me for doing this kind of thing.
Everyone I know is proud of me doing it. Which is a great feeling. (I haven’t told my mum yet!)
People I don’t know seem to love it, except if I post shady research, which I don’t any more – after all, the idea is to tell stories. Nobody can argue with stories.
I’ve been looking at a lot of old documents and my conclusion is: The DDR shouldn’t have had to go. (Ok, here we start getting political.) Brits and everyone who ever fought the Nazis should have wanted the DDR to keep existing. Sure, hugely reformed, but it was in nobody’s interest for it to just go away. Well, except for West Germany, who gave the rest of the world this spiel about ‘reunification’ and ‘freedom’ when all it did was take over, grab everything of value in East Germany, shut down all the companies and fire all the workers, sell all the crap old cars into it, buy up all the property really cheap (Guy Hands has a lot), and let Wessies run (ruin) the place. (see Treuhandanstalt.) SOMEBODY made a huge amount of profit and it wasn’t the East Germans.
You (Brits) should know better. If you had followed the propaganda wars between the DDR and West Gemany, you’d have every often sided with East Germany – because we were STILL FIGHTING NAZIS. West Germany never reformed its power structures after the war. It was East Germany that properly rooted out the crap. NOT West Germany. Everyone who fought the Nazis should have been fucking aware of that. (see how at 7:37 West German TV still in the eighties took the piss of the DDR mourning the Soviet soldiers who died liberating Berlin. West Germany still, in the eighties, argued for mourning Hitler and was publicly sad about losing the war instead. It’s difficult when you don’t speak the language. I’ll try to get some subtitles on that video, because the whole thing is EPIC.)
I can’t understand how this wasn’t a much bigger deal internationally. I mean Brits fought the Nazis, right? So to see West Germany still glorifying them, that should have brought up some concern no? East Germany should really have made more noise about it. OH WAIT. THEY DID. THEY CALLED THE WALL ‘ANTIFASCIST PROTECTION.’ lol. How quaint.
Imagine being a country that completely reformed and rebuilt itself, but that had to deal with constant propaganda attacks from the West – as well as trade embargoes. And we know capitalist PR is always better funded. This is all East Germany could come up with in terms of PR. Instead they spend the money on raising the living standards of their people and thought they’d be loyal. Haha, who cares about living standards, we wanted Bruce Springsteen and Coca Cola! Silly old DDR. Here.
And yeah in the end, it was gone, just like that, just like West Germany had always dreamed of. And why? Not because of ‘freedom’ or anything deeper than Ossis wanting all the stuff they’d seen on West German TV ads.
One of the reasons the DDR went bankrupt is because the leader refused to change a system where the rents were so massively subsidised that my mum paid 70 marks for a nice 2 bed flat in Rostock (about 7 percent of her earnings.) They told the leadership that the system couldn’t work, but it was so deeply written into the spirit of the thing that they just couldn’t let go of it.
West Germany still manages to take the piss over the fact that 2 MILLION flats were built by this program and it still wasn’t perfect. By the end of the eighties they had planned another 6 million – they needed time to train more builders. Many of the boys in my class became builders, because as a profession it was just as honourable as anything else. (try google translate here)
The reason housing was in such short supply is that the districts of the DDR took in the same amount of refugees/returnees after the war as West Germany. Millions of people. So basically we bankrupted ourselves by a) wanting to give all these people a good place to live and b) make it cheap for them. How lame, right. How worthy of derision.
Socialism really is better for the people, but the people have to work on it. And evidently people are just too stupid and don’t deserve a system that benefits them.
I don’t know how I would have dealt with it all, had I been fully there. I think that’s how I ended up just running away to the cult. It was easier to pretend it all wasn’t happening.
Ok, anyways, back to tweeting fun stories from old East Germany 😀