173 Stations

And 166 of them are ugly as sin. That’s Berlin’s subway system for you, folks.

Station

But, hey. Beauty is in the eye of the Schwarzfahrer (“black rider” or fare dodger). So enjoy them already or something.

The city’s U-Bahn system also felt the impact of the Berlin Wall, which divided the city for nearly three decades. Many train lines pre-dated the Wall, so some of the West Berlin lines necessarily passed through East Berlin stations. These stations were closed and guarded, and became known as ghost stations. The guards were visible to the West Berlin passengers as the trains slowly moved through the dimly lit stations.  

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Russian Propaganda? What Russian Propaganda?

The speaker of the Russian Duma has asked a parliamentary committee to study a proposal to condemn the reunification of Germany in 1990.

Annexation

Sergei Naryshkin earlier this week faced scathing criticism of Russia’s annexation of Crimean peninsula when he spoke at the Parliament Assembly of Europe.

Russian news agencies say Communist deputy Nikolai Ivanov on Wednesday proposed a resolution to condemn what he called the “annexation” of East Germany in 1990. Ivanov said that unlike in Crimea, there was no popular vote to support the German reunification.

…Deutsche Welle, an international television and radio broadcaster akin to the British Broadcasting Corp.’s World Service, plans to launch a new multimedia English-language service called DWNews in April. Deutsche Welle President Peter Limbourg has said the new service is designed to “defy [Russian President Vladimir] Putin ’s propaganda.”

At Least It Wasn’t The NSA

The Unification Day celebrations are now officially over. Red-Red-Green coalition talks anyone?

STASI

Well what do you know? It turns out that the chief executive secretary of the Left Party in the Bundestag was a “top agent” of the Stasi. Sachen gibt’s die gibt’s gar nicht (what will they think up next?).

Left Party boss Gregor Gysi is absolutely shocked, of course, and just cannot understand how a person like that could infiltrate a political party like his.

But at least Left Party members are able to take solace in the fact that said agent was clearly not an insidious agent of North American imperialism (excluding Canada) and a rotten capitalistic scumbag opertive working for that reactionary bourgeois NSA spy system so in the news and up in our faces these days but rather an easy-going and progressive comrade type who was not at all forced to work for a quaint totalitarian state once located in the immediate vicinity but then inexplicably disappeared and was only trying to make the world a more, you know, social place to live

Schwerer Schlag für die Linke: Die Geschäftsführerin der Fraktion im Bundestag, Ruth Kampa, war offenbar eine Top-Agentin der Stasi. Fraktionschef Gysi will davon nichts gewusst haben.

Back Then When The World Was Still In Order

This is just what we need these days: Uplifting communist photography. More specifically, a nostalgic retrospective of art photography produced in communist East Germany.

They just don’t make German democratic republics like they used to.

What do you mean abandoned amusement park?

“Berlin is littered with relics of its communist past, with one of the eeriest being Spreepark, where the remains of what was once East Germany’s only amusement park still stand.”

This whole city is one big abandoned communist funfair, lady (or at least big chunks of that Wild East part of town are).

They are everywhere I tell you, all around us, immer und überall, like vampires, or even zombies if you prefer. But maybe that’s just me.

By the way, that park was way cool when it was still running. Really cheesy and schräg. But maybe that’s just me too.

The amusement park’s history is as colorful as its rides once were. The Kulturpark Plaenterwald, as it was known under communism, was also used as a meeting point by youths rebelling against the state’s collectivist system.

“Nobody has the intention of building a wall”

It was 50 years ago today,
Walter Ulbricht lied his ass away (as in off).

He’s been going in and out of style (mostly out),
but he’s still guaranteed to raise a smile.

Some world-class lies are better (and more complex) than others, especially when they are answers to questions that nobody ever asked. Was his just a Freudian slip? Did he purposely bring up not building a wall to bring the issue (everyone leaving East Germany) to a head and finally get Krushchev’s permission to build the thing? Or was he just a fun-loving prankster. At the moment I’m inclined to think it’s that last one. If you listen closely to his little laugh, it sounds way too much like Barney Rubble’s (the German synchronization).

Das hämische Lachen, das die Dreistigkeit der Lüge auch 50 Jahre danach noch zu steigern vermag, trägt comichafte Züge. Kein Wunder, erinnert es doch stark an Barney Geröllheimer, den besten Freund von Fred Feuerstein aus der US-Zeichentrickserie „The Flintstones“. Zumindest in der deutschen Übersetzung gleicht Barneys – von Gerd Duwner synchronisierte – berühmte „Hehehehe“-Lache der von Walter Ulbricht, als der DDR-Staatsratsvorsitzende am 15. Juni 1961 in einer legendären Pressekonferenz Geschichte schreibt – in dem er auf eine Frage antwortet, die gar nicht gestellt worden ist.

Ossi ethnicity?

Well, it’s official now. Turned down for work in the German West because she hailed from the German East, a woman took the company to court on racial, or at least ethnic, discrimination charges – and lost.

No ethnic group, no tribal breaks here, Easties. Nice try though. If you are an Ossi (East German), you stay one. So like wake up and smell the Kaffee. Life’s a Schlampe and then you die. Get used to it already. You’re now just like the rest of us out there who aren’t like the rest of us out there, I mean you (out there). That’s life. Here’s a hanky. Blow your nose. Now go out and get a job in Friedrichshain or in Dresden or in some other awful place like that. OK, I’m finished.

Als Gabriele S. vor Monaten ihre Bewerbungsunterlagen zurückbekam, prangte neben dem Lebenslauf der handschriftliche Vermerk des Fensterbauers. “(-) Ossi!”. An mehreren Stellen stand “DDR”. Eine üble Diskriminierung?