You’ll Be Pleading A Long Time, Joshua

And then all you’ll get will be some pious platitudes.

Hong Kong

China can do no wrong in German eyes – with all those dollar/euro signs in there.

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong pleads for Germany’s support – Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has called on Germany to intervene over a controversial new security law imposed by China. Police arrested hundreds after the law went into effect earlier this week.

“I ask the German government: Look at what is happening in Hong Kong and call it by its name.”

A Communist Kangaroo?

This can only be a German production. Or a Berlin one, I should say.

Kangaroo

The Kangaroo Chronicles, a quartet of comic novels by slam poet Marc-Uwe Kling that has sold millions of copies in Germany over the last 10 years, is a classic man-meets-beast buddy story in the vein of Seth MacFarlane’s 2012 comedy Ted – only that its animal protagonist is mainly vulgar in the Marxist rather than the foul-mouthed sense…

His only liability, in terms of electoral optics, could be a fatal addiction to booze-filled pralines – and the marsupial pouch in which he keeps his copy of Mao’s red book…

The film, directed by Swiss filmmaker Dani Levy, shows the communist marsupial team up with Berlin locals against Jörg Dwigs, a Trump-style property tycoon and founder of the fictional AzD (“Alternative to democracy”) party: a classic “the people v the elite” narrative, which the German far left has found more difficult to adopt than its counterparts in Britain, America or Southern Europe.

German Of The Day: Reiche Erschießen

That means “shoot the rich.”

Nothing new, of course. But it is kind of odd that we are hearing this suggestion TODAY and that it’s coming from a member of a “harmless” political party German voters routinely turn a blind eye to – a blind left eye, by the way: The Left Party. You know, the successor party of the East German Communist SED? It is currently forming state governments all over the Mystical German East as we speak, by the way.

“The energy turnaround is also necessary after a revolution. And even after we’ve shot that one percent of the rich it will still be the case that we will need to heat our homes, that we will need a means of transportation.”

“Energiewende ist auch nötig nach einer Revolution. Und auch wenn wir das eine Prozent der Reichen erschossen haben, ist es immer noch so, dass wir heizen wollen, wir wollen uns fortbewegen.”

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.

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”.

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.

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

Go West, Young Man!

But not everybody at once! Sheesh.

Population

The East German rural population is now as low as it was back in 1905. The population in West Germany has more than doubled since then. For three reasons, demographers say: 1) Anybody who could fled from the Communist East after World War II and before the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, 2) Communist East Germany never had any immigration (of guest works like in the West, for example) and 3) there was also a big migration to the West after the Berlin Wall came down. Now it’s ghost town time over there and nobody knows what to do about it.

“For a long time, the problem of eastern Germany was, above all, the lack of jobs. Now you almost have the opposite problem: they are running out of workers.”

German Of The Day: Verharmlosung

That means to play something down, to make it harmless.

Verharmlosung

You know, like the ideology pursued by the murdered “revolutionary socialists” (communists) Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht that gets played down, made harmless? They are worshiped as cult figures by the German left. They might even beat Che Guevara in the pantheon of mythical, romantic demigods of the revolutionary left. They may not have been the monster that guy was but that’s only because they didn’t have the time to get there.

On Sunday morning, some 10,000 people braved the rain and cold to march through eastern Berlin and place red carnations at the graves of Rosa Luxemburg and her comrade, Karl Liebknecht.

The march was commemorating 100 years since the brutal execution of the two revolutionary socialists on January 15, 1919…

In November 1918, a revolt by sailors and soldiers led to the overthrow of the Hohenzollern monarchy and the end of the war. In December, the Spartacist League renamed itself the German Communist Party (KPD) and Luxemburg asserted that they would not try to seize power without the support of the majority of Germans. Yet when a second revolt broke out on January 5, 1919, she and Liebknecht gave the movement their full support. The uprising quickly faltered and the SPD leadership ordered the army and right-wing paramilitaries, the Freikorps, to crush it.

On the night of January 15, Luxemburg and Liebknecht were abducted, tortured in the luxury Hotel Eden, and then driven separately to the nearby Tiergarten Park and murdered. Liebknecht was delivered to the city morgue while Luxemburg was dumped into a canal.

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”