Berlin. The ghosts of communism.
A very interesting topic that I could not touch onBerlin- this is what remains in the city from the Soviet period. If you do not count the panel buildings, which are extensively built up the eastern part of the city - there are not so many. And I did not hear the Germans moaning like "oh, how good it was in the GDR, return everything backwards!" - they live in the present and prefer to think about the future, and not about the past.
So, in today's post - the story of what remained in Germany from the ghosts of communism. Come under the cat, it is interesting. Welladd friendsDo not forget)
First, a little history. After World War II, Germany was divided into West and East - West Germany in 1945-49 was controlled by the United Kingdom, France and the United States, and East -the USSR. The head (federal chancellor) of West Germany (Germany) was Konrad Adenauer - during the Nazi rule he strongly opposed Nazism and was twice arrested by the Gestapo. After the war, Adenauer became chairman of the Christian Democratic Union and was elected chancellor.
In the post-war Germany, an economic development plan was put forward and consistently implemented, which would later be called the "German Economic Miracle." If at the end of the 1940s, journalists wrote: “Germany is a heap of rubbish in which forty million hungry Germans are swarming”, by the early 1950s the Marshall Plan and economic reforms had their effect, and by the early 1960s Germany had become one of leading economies of the world.
The situation was completely different in the GDR, which turned out to be in the Soviet zone of occupation — they began to build Stalin-style socialism in which people had to work more and get less. Everyone who dared to protest against such orders was immediately called “fascist”, but nevertheless, people arranged even the wholepopular uprisingsagainst new oppressors. From the "socialist paradise" the Germans fled en masse to West Germany, and to prevent their escape, the famous Berlin Wall was built, which fell only in 1990.
Back in East Germany (in the GDR), there was a special service called the Stasi, created by analogy with the NKVD / KGB - which dealt with political persecution and surveillance of citizens. It is from the former headquarters of the Stasi that we begin our walk through Berlin.
02The Stasi headquarters is located in Lichtenberg district, in the former East Berlin, and the day of the foundation of the special services is February 8, 1950. Later, for its location, a huge complex of buildings was built, into which anyone can now enter.
03. On the right side of the entrance is a small open gallery with a story about the activities of the special services. Almost from the first days of its existence, the Stasi sought to penetrate as much as possible into German society and keep under control all aspects of his life - for which a huge network of informers was created.
04. Some informants came with reports to the Stasi building - reporting on the "counter-revolutionary thoughts" of citizens or attributing to them "the creation of secret organizations". The “secret organization” could consist of two people — the husband complained to the wife of high oil prices during a call from work, after which he could be thrown into prison as “political” and as the “organizer” of himself and his wife.
There were informants up the stairs. According to the open archives, almost every 50th citizen of the GDR worked as an informant or otherwise collaborated with the Stasi.
05In addition to the network of whistleblowers, there were also such boxes in the Stasi arsenal, where every citizen could drop an "informative letter." They were used, as it is easy to guess - for anonymous denunciations.
06. In addition, the Stasi was also engaged in undermining the economy and political activities in West Germany — agents were being thrown in and deployed for these purposes, and subversive and sabotage activities were carried out. The highest achievement of the Stasi is the introduction to the environment of Chancellor Willy Brandt his officer named Gunther Guillaume, as well as the bribing of several deputies of the Bundestag.
For surveillance, covert photography and the Stasi interception, she used a lot of technical stuff, like a weaving miniature camera. There were also special cameras that were able to take photographs through a millimeter hole in the wall.
07. And this is the uniform and equipment of the Stasi operative, leaving for the detention of a "particularly dangerous criminal". In the eighties, punks who were called "agents of the Western intelligence services who want to undermine our spirituality" were such "especially dangerous".
08This is not a joke - surveillance of the punks and the introduction of agents into their environment took up a considerable part of the Stasi’s work. Pankov conscientiously caught, described, photographed, found out the circle of their connections, some were imprisoned for "asocial behavior".
09. Even in the Stasi arsenal, there were all sorts of "psychological decay" techniques developed by the Soviet KGB and generously donated to the German comrades from the Stasi, they were used against all sorts of political figures and activists who were undesirable to the Stasi. With the help of master keys or specially created keys, the agent Stasi penetrated into the apartment to the disagreeable activist, and in the absence of the owner, rearranged furniture there, changed one sort of tea to another, threw cards with loving confessions into his wife’s things or rearranged the time on the alarm clock. As a result, some activists began to doubt their own normalcy, moved to another city, lost their circle of acquaintances, or even ended their lives by suicide.
10. The Stasi buildings occupied a complex of several blocks. The scale of the complex can be estimated from this photo taken from a drone - all buildings belonging to the Stasi are marked with blue circles.There were also hotels for agents / whistleblowers, visiting them from other cities.
11. The “Stasi” people lived very well - these were the meetings of the highest commanders in these cabinets.
12. This is the reception room of one of the chiefs of the Stasi. There were held meetings "in a narrow circle", as well as instructions were given about further political persecution of the Germans.
13. Lounge in front of the reception. Most often, the Stasi cabinets are located in a suite, one by one. The first is a rest room, then - the common hall, followed by the secretariat room, and the office of some local chief crowns the enfilade.
14. There were even bathrooms and kitchens in the Stasi building. The bathroom looks like this:
15. And so - the kitchen with electric stove.
16. This is how the banquet hall looks like - here the Stasi employees gathered to celebrate all sorts of communist holidays and celebrate the victory over the next group of "enemies of the people", like dissatisfied customers in the store or rockers. Or maybe there was a banquet dedicated to the clever bribing of West German deputies - "they saw how we cleverly bought these podindosnye? I said that they all love grandmas, they only talk about principles. In fact, all people in the world are like filth and we, hooray! ".
17And in such fireproof cabinets, disguised as an ordinary wardrobe, the files of the "enemies of the people" were kept. In 1989, the German people seized the Stasi building, and the German special forces barricaded themselves with trembling hands destroyed the cases of informers and political intelligence. There were so many cases that the shredders (paper shredders) huddled, and still it was not possible to destroy everything.
18. Now anyone who wishes can come to the Stasi complex of buildings and see for themselves what has happened here and how. A prison is also open for visits, in which "politically objectionable citizens" were kept, and the Germans also have full access to all the Stasi archives.
The complex of Stasi hostels, where informers and agents lived, is a rather scary panel box with low ceilings. A sort of cabinet for people-screws, which were stored here, as in a box, for lubricating creaking and crumbling system.
19. Unlike the rest of the East Berlin buildings, which had long been painted and ennobled, the Stasi complex was left unchanged. And yet none of the pedantic Germans do not weed the grass that sprouted through the asphalt of the rusty Stasi flagpoles.
20.Meanwhile, we take the subway and go to the city center - among the narrow streets of central Berlin you can find the famous Checkpoint Charlie, which is located on Friedrichstrasse. This item was created after the separation of Berlin by the wall in 1961.
21. It was here that an event occurred, known as the “Tank standoff at the Checkpoint Charlie”, which happened in 1961 - the Soviet GDR began building a wall to prevent citizens from escaping into a free Germany, the Americans wanted to thwart the construction of the wall, but the Soviet tanks that did not allow it to do, in fact chained the inhabitants of East Berlin by the wall for 40 years.
22. The Berlin Wall is long gone, and the citizens of the city freely move from the western part to the east.
23. Former times are reminded only of Soviet caps, folded at the Checkpoint Charlie,
24. Yes, even a large museum where you can learn in detail about the times when Germany was divided by a wall. Concrete blocks are used instead of benches and as part of the installation near the entrance to the modern museum building - parts of the wall itself.
25. There is a small exhibition along the fence of the museum, which also tells about those times.Here is a map of Berlin divided by a wall:
26. These are the observation towers with machine guns on the eastern side of the wall - the GDR authorities did not let citizens out of the “socialist paradise”. By the way, a question to all fans of the USSR and other totalitarian regimes - why does each country of this type tell everyone what paradise they have, but at the same time it does not let its citizens out of its citizens, pulling the barbed wire and installing machine-gun towers?
27. And here are photo stories about the very “tank confrontation” and cases of successful shoots from the east side of Berlin to the west. In total, about 200 people were killed during the existence of the wall in Berlin (according to other sources - from 800 to 1300) - East German soldiers and intelligence officers killed them all, and in 1973 the Stasi had an order to shoot at all the fugitives, including women and children. ...
28. And about the events of 1989-1990, during which the Berlin Wall fell, as well as about the thoughts and desires of the Germans of those years, the so-called “East Side Gallery” - which is located in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain, will perfectly tell.
29. It is here that the largest part of the Berlin Wall has been preserved intact; its length is 1316 meters.During the events of 1989-90 and the subsequent unification of Germany, artists came here and simply ordinary Germans drew everything that seemed important to them. Now this gallery is a monument of that era and is protected by the state.
30. Here is a portrait of Gorbachev that hold a hammer and sickle in his hands and, like a steering wheel, turns them down. It was with Gorbachev in those years that hope was associated with the unity and freedom of Germany - in his famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate, US President Reagan called on Gorbachev to help unite the Germans - "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate, destroy this wall!"
31. A portrait of Gorbachev is often photographed by elderly Germans who remember those times well.
32. The stand with the famous Reagan quote, and on the block of the wall behind the German flag, combined with the flag of Israel - painted as a symbol of the fact that the horrors of Nazism will never happen again.
33. Graffiti to friendship and the word "peace", written in three languages - English, German and Russian.
34. Military gas masks, which are transformed into colored balloons.
35. Excellent work in the style of surrealism - here the German people divided by a wall and indifferent western inhabitants are symbolically depicted.
36. And here some abstract conflicts of the end of the 20th century are simply depicted ...
37... In the center of Berlin you can see several buildings of the communist era - several hotels, a cinema and a glass restaurant, as well as panel houses.
38. Former Soviet buildings, "glass" are used now for private business.
39. And the panel houses are beautifully restored with German thoroughness.
40. All the balconies in Berlin are open - the Germans do not put there the “Telehany” skies, dried podleschiki in a tattered pillowcase, old torn “Kimry” sneakers and a binder of the “Science and Life” magazine for 1982-86, but simply go there to rest and breathe fresh air.
The ghosts of communism fly away from the unglaced balconies easily and are no longer disturbed by the inhabitants of the apartment.
Write in the comments what you think about this.