Nobody Had Any Intention Of Building A Wall

Right. And nobody had any intention of tearing it down twenty-eight years later either.

Walter Ulbricht

But, you know, stuff happens.

In his lack of preparation, he mistakenly insinuated that the checkpoints in the Berlin Wall — which up until then were guarded by soldiers with orders to shoot anyone trying to cross — were now open. They weren’t, but that announcement was all East Berliners needed to storm the wall and demand they be allowed to cross into West Berlin. After that, the wall became obsolete, and soon fell.

Virtual Socialist Reality

Last call for boarding to Cold War Berlin. Don’t forget your VR goggles.

Berlin

Who says time travel isn’t possible?

30 years later, Berlin Wall comes back to life with virtual reality – German startup offering visitors and history buffs an ‘authentic’ and immersive Cold War-era tour of the divided capital.

A packed bus approaches Checkpoint Charlie, the Cold War’s most famous border crossing, as grim-faced East German guards whisper among themselves about whether to hold you for questioning.

After a few heart-stopping minutes, you and your fellow passengers are free to pass into the smog, soot and shadowy intrigue of 1980s East Berlin.

Das Ost-Berlin vor dem Mauerfall ersteht für Touristen wieder auf. Mit VR-Brille kann man eine Stadtrundfahrt vom Checkpoint Charlie zum Palast der Republik unternehmen, vorbei an Gendarmenmarkt und „Ahornblatt”.

This Just In: Poor People Have It Tougher Than Those Who Aren’t Poor

Poverty, unemployment and poor education in Germany lead to tougher lives and shorter life spans.

Arbeit

Wow. Who would have thought that? I’m sure thankful that researchers up at the Max Planck Institute in Rostock were able to finally make this major scientific breakthrough. The tons of German taxpayer money that went into this study were certainly well spent. Now maybe something will finally be done to stop poverty here. Apparently no one has been doing anything about it up until now. Thumbs up to you, researchers!

In a related story (see the link at the bottom of the same article), it has also been determined that the older the human body gets the more it weakens and – now get this – that this decline is inevitable.

Armut, Arbeitslosigkeit und schlechte Bildung gehen in Deutschland mit einer deutlich verkürzten Lebenserwartung einher.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Or Stalinallee, if your prefer.

Egon Krenz

Inexplicably, East Germany’s last communist boss thinks that the night the Berlin Wall came down (almost thirty years ago) “was the worst night of my life.

Happily for him, it is also something that he “wouldn’t want to experience ever again” because, well, he won’t.

Save Planet Earth’s Climate?

Hell yes! Count me in.

Climate 1

Climate 2

Clean up my own neighborhood? Nah, I think I’ll pass on that one.

A “Fridays for Future” demonstration will get 40,000 German environmental activists out on the street in no time. A call to clean up the local neighborhood on “World Cleanup Day” might get about 100 to 150 out of bed (here Frankfurt).

These World Cleanup Folks clearly don’t get the deal. Abstract heroics is were the money is – I mean, people are.

Nur rund 1000 kamen zum großen Aufräumen, sammelten vier Tonnen Müll. Am Main, in Sichtweite des Camps der „Fridays for Future“-Macher, verschlug es gerade mal 150 Freiwillige.

German Of The Day: Respektlosigkeit

That means disrespect. I don’t know what it means in Chinese, though. Failing to kowtow?

Wong

German foreign minister meeting with Joshua Wong ‘disrespectful’: China – Beijing has slammed democracy activist Joshua Wong’s meeting with Germany’s foreign minister as “disrespectful.” Wong has urged countries to stand by Hong Kong protesters against the long arm of China in the city.

Don’t worry, China. Angela Merkel is already cowering in a back office of the chancellery somewhere and has already made it clear that she won’t meet with him. She knows it would be Wong for her to do that.

“It is extremely wrong for German media and politicians to attempt to tap into the anti-China separatist wave.”

King Kong Was Already Taken

King and Kong were, I mean.

Hong Kong

Berlin throws shade at China by voting to name panda cubs ‘Hong’ and ‘Kong’ – One of Berlin’s leading papers, Der Tagesspiegel, asked its readers to come up with name suggestions for the cubs, born Aug. 31 at the Berlin Zoo.

The cubs and their parents, Meng Meng, 6, and Jiao Qing, 9, belong to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a Chinese research center. The Berlin Zoo pays $1 million a year to house the popular bears.

Others in the newspaper poll also suggested naming the cubs “Joshua Wong Chi-fung” and “Agnes Chow Ting” after two prominent Hong Kong democracy activists.

Sheesh. Berlin residents certainly give Hong Kong more consideration than their government leaders do. But, then again, Berliners know how important it is to show solidarity “with a city fighting for survival.”

Now This Is What I Call Equality

Germans know how to do this stuff. When everybody loses over here then everybody loses equally.

Merkel

Everyone Loses in Germany – Voters in state elections effectively choose ‘none of the above.’

European elections these days are generally contests between a beleaguered mainstream and insurgent alternatives. Voters in two German states on Sunday chose a form of “none of the above” as the country stumbles out of the Angela Merkel era.

It Doesn’t Matter Who Replaces Merkel. Germany Is Broken.

They’re Only 25 Percent Of The Electorate

And growing. So we’ll just keep shunning them and they’ll eventually go away.

AfD

That seems to be what Germany’s established political parties are telling themselves when it comes to the far-right AfD – a party that owes it’s increasing popularity solely to Angela Merkel’s bat shit crazy migration “policy.” None of these parties are willing to even consider working together with the AfD. Even after yesterday’s results in Saxony and Brandenburg.

This is because the AfD politicians are all “Nazis” (everybody I don’t like – or offers “my” voters an alternative – is a Nazi, right?). So a quarter of the voters who voted in these two federal state elections yesterday are all Nazis, too? Uh, I don’t think so. This is German democracy in action? Here’s a little tip: Once they reach 51 percent you won’t have the opportunity to take the wind out of their sails because they won’t need you anymore.

Far-right AfD bids to encircle Berlin as resentment and division grow.

“Treacherous Manslaughter?”

Getting shot in the head twice with a silenced Glock 29 by an electric bicycle-riding man in a Berlin park in broad daylight?

Russians

Except for the broad daylight part I’d say yeah, that’s pretty treacherous (“treacherous manslaughter” is what the suspected killer is being charged with).

The killing of a former Chechen separatist commander in central Berlin has raised concerns that Russia may have deployed an agent to a European nation to target a Kremlin opponent, a tactic it has been accused of using many times in the past.

The victim, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, who fought against Russian troops in the second Chechen war 20 years ago, was on his way to Friday prayers last week when he was shot in the head twice by a bicycle-riding man using a handgun with a silencer, according to witness accounts cited in the German news media.

The Russian government in 2006 legalized the killings abroad of people who were judged to pose terrorist threats, resuming a Soviet-era practice.

Russischer Geheimdienst womöglich in Mord an Exil-Georgier verwickelt.