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.

More Like A Stepfather

Who beat you like a red-headed stepchild.

For Germans, Losing the U.S. to Trump Is Like Losing a Father – The 30th-anniversary celebration of the Berlin Wall’s collapse comes with grief over the end of a special relationship.

Trump

I don’t know if I can hold back the tears but give me a second or two. There. I’m much better now. Thanks. But this massive output of cheap emotion has a heavy taste of déjà-vu in it for me, folks. The Germans already had their hearts broken and lost their special relationship back with W., didn’t they? And we don’t even want to talk about how heartbroken they were with Ronald Reagan HIMSELF. They don’t even want to have to think about him today. Some thirty years later. You know, thirty years after he made possible the fall of the Berlin Wall? Wait a minute. I’m chocking up again…

Berlin gets unwanted Ronald Reagan statue – Ronald Reagan is already an honorary citizen of Berlin, so city authorities have always deemed a statue inappropriate. Nonetheless, a bronze replica of the former president is set to be inaugurated at the US Embassy.

Reagan

German Of The Day: Disneyfizierung

That means Disneyfication.

Checkpoint

Just stop by Checkpoint Charlie sometime and see for yourself.

Authorities in Germany’s capital Berlin have banned local performers from wearing US army uniforms at Checkpoint Charlie, the iconic Cold War crossing between the east and west of the city.

They said the actors exploited tourists by demanding money for photos at the attraction…

People impersonating US soldiers have been at Checkpoint Charlie for nearly 20 years, working in rotation to pose with tourists.

But many Berliners are unhappy about the “Disneyfication” of the site, where fake Soviet Red Army fur hats, gas masks and pieces of the Berlin Wall can be found for sale.

If You Didn’t Read It Here It Didn’t Happen

Go Neues Deutschland. There are not a lot of East Berlin newspapers out there that have the backbone to call the fall of the Berlin Wall fake news.

ND

Communist newspapers? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

Wolfgang Hübner returns from the archives of the Neues Deutschland newspaper clutching a rare treasure: a thick binder containing one of the biggest misses in journalistic history.

Mr Hübner has unearthed the edition of Friday, November 10 1989, the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is the most consequential moment of the decade, yet that day’s ND — the official organ of the Socialist party of East Germany, boasting a circulation of more than 1m — contains not a word on the event.

“Lots of traffic at the border crossing.”

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”.

Venezuela Here I Come!

Right back where I started from…

Berlin

Berlin’s state cabinet has agreed on a rent freeze for five years to counter rising housing costs in the German capital.

The city’s leftwing coalition government wants to freeze the rent for apartments built before 2014, according to a report by the German news agency dpa.

Only a minority of Berliners own their homes or apartments and rent has been rising sharply in recent years, forcing many to move outside the city.

So put back up that Berlin Wall.

Cause Venezuela here I come!

BMW: Bring Me West

German engineering at its best.

Talk about a mother of invention…

In 1963, a man named Klaus-Günter Jacobi decided to help his best friend escape East Berlin and before being forced to report for duty in the East German army. To do so, he decided to modify his BMW Isetta to be able to hide a body.

Now, if you’re not especially familiar with the Isetta, it’s a tiny bubble car with a motorcycle engine at the back and barely enough room for two people to sit in the bench seat behind the front opening door. Space is at a premium, but Jacobi — who had trained as a mechanic — found that there was a dead space behind his seat and next to the Isetta’s tiny engine that could be used to smuggle a person.

The Small Escape

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.”

Eco-Death Zone Idylle

Put back up the Berlin Wall again already. For nature’s sake.

Wall

Bombweed. Yum! Wild Thyme, Burdock and Evening Primrose shimmy through concrete and broken stone…

As part of our new series The Illustrated City, Ali Fitzgerald reveals Berlin’s hidden spaces, where the flora and fauna are wild – if you know where to look.

Next Misleading Berlin Wall Comparison Just In!

This happens regularly, of course. The cool thing about this particular one is that it comes from the mayor of Berlin himself.

Berlin Wall

Michael Müller (SPD), apparently not all too familiar with the history of his own city, has implied through a message he sent to President Trump on Friday that the wall he is planning to build on Mexico’s border is somehow comparable to the infamous one that divided Berlin for decades. “Divisive?” Certainly. Most walls are divisive, as far as I know. Otherwise they wouldn’t call them walls.

But what Müller and others bend over backwards to ignore here is that the one in Berlin was built to keep people “in.” You know, like a prison wall? The planned Trump wall, however, is being built to keep people “out.”

Now I understand that I am being an annoying stickler for details here but one really ought to consider this from time to time. Before the next misleading comparison comes over the wires, I mean. Because you’ll be hearing them regularly, like I say.

“Berlin — the city which stands for the separation of Europe as well as the freedom of Europe — cannot watch silently as another country plans to build a wall,”