Today is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. The 96-mile long Wall was erected in 1961 to prevent East Germans from escaping the repressive regime. If you’d like to get a feel for what it was like to live behind the Wall, you can watch the movie, The Lives of Others. The blu-ray disc contains a “not-to-be-missed” interview with the director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
In East Germany the The Stasi secret police closely monitored the lives of most of its citizens. Only those specially connected to power and above suspicion were permitted to lead private lives. Hence the title of this movie that, once watched, will be hard to get out of your head.
Today’s New York Times features a story one might not expect to ever see in this house organ of Leftism masquerading as a newspaper. It recounts the sad lives of those who were held prisoner behind the Wall and their memories of the loved ones murdered by border guards under shoot-to-kill orders of anyone attempting to escape. The story of 18-year old Marienetta Jirkowsky, whose only crime on the night of November 21, 1980 was wanting to be with the man she loved, is poignant.
Communism everywhere and always is rule by a criminal gang. It exists solely for the benefit of the gang members at intense cost to everyone else. American Leftists who sympathize with communism today, such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, know this and are lying when they speak favorably about it. They have to be profoundly stupid to believe otherwise.
On the Fall of the Berlin Wall and its liberal historiography since, here are two good reads from Steven Hayward: