Where Were You?

About two years after this speech, 20 years ago almost right now, that wall came tumbling down. I was eleven years old then, recall seeing it on television and knowing something incredible was happening. Where were you?

Assigned Reading: The Wall Fell, and Freedom Sang
(FROM: Human Events)

Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa was a former head of espionage service. Here’s an excerpt from a very interesting piece over at Human Events in which he describes his feelings about what happened then, and what is happening now:

Twenty years after the Berlin Wall was torn down by people hungering for freedom, the world looks entirely different. Life on the opposite sides of the Wall, which had meant the difference between day and night, is almost equal. The freedoms of religion, expression and assembly have been restored. The barriers the Communists spent over 70 years erecting between themselves and the rest of the world, as well as between individual people, have been removed. The culture is reviving, and a new generation of intellectuals is developing new national identities for their countries.

All former Soviet satellites—including my native Romania, once the epitome of tyranny—abandoned their ruinous experiment with Marxism. So did Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Greece. All are today strengthening their free market economies, and all are now pursuing various national versions of social and cultural conservatism. Even Russia has begun sailing through the uncharted waters of capitalism.

Alas, the specter of Marx’s populist socialism has now started haunting the United States. According to an April 2009 Rasmussen poll, only 53% of Americans said they preferred capitalism to socialism; 27% were unsure, and 20% preferred socialism.

One of the most popular nightclubs in New York City’s East Village is the KGB Bar. The place is jammed by writers who read from their works praising the meritocracy of Marx’s socialism, under the club’s symbol, the Hammer and Sickle.

Share

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wasn't even born yet, Jeff!

    But to hear it as we do in school, and to see it as we saw it on the news in class today, you'd have wondered if Ronald Reagan had anything to do with it at all…

  2. Anonymous says:

    may it be that "he" dislike the fact of the fall berlin´s wall, probably what intends for us is what exited behind wall, a fierce police state, where terrorist were those who thought differnt

  3. Boston Blackie says:

    Hey Jeff, Thanks for making us feel so much older with the comment that you were only eleven at the time. I was ready to give birth to my daughter and I thought what a better world it will be for her. Who would have thought 20 years later the U.S.A. would be on the verge of being a marxist, socialist country and eastern Europe would be striving with capitalism. I now fear for my daughter's future.
    On a better note – Happy Birthday to all Marines, Semper Fi and thank you for your service, including my husband.

  4. William A. Rose says:

    I was on active duty with the US Army, stationed at Bremerhaven, Germany. I had enjoyed the opportunity to see East Berlin/East Germany before the wall came down and then I saw Pink Floyd the summer after the wall came down (Potsdamer Platz).

    I can say the then East Germans were as friendly as anyone. The same held true after the wall came down. It was something I shall never forget.

  5. SimpleSwine says:

    Where was I? In the Corps, preparing for yet another Deployment… only, suddenly, it felt different this time… a good type of different.

    Happy Birthday, and Semper Fi, to my fellow Marines… 10 November 2009, and sadly, it feels different again… and not as good…

    Here are a few things that make me feel a bit better…

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Jameshooker#p/u/5/C3YbrXAFnUQ

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Jameshooker#p/u/1/Cmr-tFPUx9M

    Last, but not least, not by a long shot…
    http://www.youtube.com/user/vespasoulman#p/u/10/X937WUBgQdg

  6. Dee says:

    In 1965 I had just finished my sophmore year in college. I got a summer job in Germany through an organization known as "American Student Information Services." Another girl and myself worked together and our supervisor told us we were entitled to 3 days vacation and he encouraged us to go to Berlin. We did and while there we spent a day in East Berlin. It was very interesting. There were false storefronts that made it appear that the stores were thriving. Once inside the stores, there was very little. My art history professor told us that if we were ever in East Berlin to go to the Dalkamp Museum and look at the brush strokes on the painting, "The Man with the Golden Helmet". I was able to see that painting. We entered and exited through "Checkpoint Charlie" and as we were leaving someone actually did escape to West Berlin. We thought it was a trick but when we returned to work, our supervisor asked if we were there when the person escaped. Our supervisor took us on a tour of the Hartz Mountains and showed us where the barbed wire fences were between East and West and the many guard stations. It was a summer that I will never forget. My cousin lives in Germany now and he said that when the wall came down it was difficult for both the East and West Germans because there were not enough jobs in the West to support everyone. It took several years to resolve that.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I was 27 and proudly serving my country. I stood at the edge of a very large hole that had been drilled so we could test the boom power of a nasty weapon. Next to me and my USA colleauges stood approx 22 Soviet physists, KGB & GRU agents. My freinds and I were shiting our pants in fear that some would want to defect and we didnt have enough personnel to manage the potential situation.

    In reality, they were just as dedicated as me. They were all devastated as they had no job or government or future to return home to.

    Later that night my friends and I raised our small glasses of apple juice (its all we had) and toasted our quite victory. I was never more proud. The next morning we put the sullen little commies back on their plane and waved good bye.

    As they flew off, America's left wept.

  8. SimpleSwine says:

    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/ynews?ch=4226714&cl=16558272&lang=en

    Jeff, I don't want to post this here, but putting it at the last terrorist line would likely mean it is over looked.
    Seems like it was a terrorist attack after all (like most of us have been saying!), and though not lead by alqaeda, definitely influenced by them.

    I wonder what 'dr' phil has to say now?

    I grew up with Dr. Val Finnell ( little place called McKees Rocks,PA) the one being outspoken about his knowledge of hasan… I am older, but I never knew Val to lie, or to reactionary… his Father was my Barber, though he would likely take offense to being called a 'barber'… stylist was more to his liking, but as I usually had crew cuts, and then high and tights, what style was involved?
    No, I think we need to listen less to the biased, apologetic MSM, and more who knew the POS who attacked our Country from within, from a position of Trust… a trust he did not deserve.

    I hope you find the time to run with this one…

  9. Rix says:

    The amazing attraction in idealizing and imitating the enemy, particularly if that enemy is perceived as defeated, roots in the hunting dances with which our paleolithic ancestors honored their prey for giving them food and clothing. In their primitive wisdom, they knew that if the spirit of the prey is not properly appeased, it will return to take revenge on the hunter. So the "intellectuals" of today who carouse in the KGB Bar haven't advanced far from fur-clad chums in Geico's advertising, except that they fail to understand that the prey isn't killed yet.

  10. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    I remember feeling a great sense of astonishment & awe – I didn't think it was possible for that wall to ever come down. I was listening to a radio interview last night where they were discussing the role of the "freedom fighters" in the wall coming down. I thought of our own "freedom fighters" here & now. I pray they (we) will persevere & prevail!

    Susan

  11. goddessdivine says:

    I was 13, and I have to admit that I had zero interest in current events at the time. I remember that this interrupted my television program and I was not happy.

    Now, however, I have a lot more experience and perspective to understand the importance of this event. It's too bad our current POTUS doesn't.

    On a sidenote–I wonder if David Hasselhoff went to the celebration….

  12. D.A.Gust says:

    We danced, laughed, and partied the best we could …

    I was three into a twelve month deployment in Central America on the day the "wall came down". It was raining cats and dogs. I was sitting with team members participating in a real tough, rubber game of spades when the word came.

    We all sort of looked at each other in a state of 'huh…what?', then my team sargeant said, "I guess that's the end of waitin' for "Ivan"." (Ivan being the Russians)

    I thought of the time I spent in the frontier on the border with CZ. Reflecting on what would be the next step in the lives of those in the east.

    I had spent a few days on thier side of the fence on tours, in East Berlin. I thought about the shop keepers, and official guides (soldiers) I had met during those escorted tours. I wondered how they felt now that they were "geteilt nicht" (not divided) anymore?

    I had the honor of participating in a rememberance 'volkes march' from east to west near Helmstedt, check point alpha.

    Yep, I may be a wee bit older than y'all…

  13. Ima SoBelle says:

    I was at my mother's bedside at the hospital. She was 81 years old, almost blind and suffering from emphysema and conjestive heart failure. She asked me what was going on in the world and I told her that the Berlin Wall had fallen. She was overjoyed. I will never forget her comment: "I saw the rise of Communism but I never thought I'd live to see it fall." I turned on the television so that she could listen to the news. It was a wonderful moment for us to share. She would be appalled at what is happening to this great country.

  14. Celia in TX says:

    Interesting.

    My sister and I were both exchange students to Germany. Myself in '87 and my sister in '88. My sister had the opportunity to go to Berlin in '88. My host family had family, too, in East Germany.

    Then, in '91, I had the opportunity to visit Leipzig (former East Germany). My father, who was military, was with us…and my "German Daddy", too.

    My German Daddy, named Heinrich, was prepared for a big hullabaloo trying to get a U.S. serviceman in to visit in Leipzig. He was bracing for problems as we approached the border.

    Even he never expected what happened.

    There wasn't even a request a stop. No checking of the car or paperwork. Just waved through.

    My German Daddy cried.

    Leipzig was quite something. What a sad, sad place. The whole city was a ruin, feral cats everywhere the eye could see, dirty, dilapidated. I tell people it was like going from the colorful Land of Oz into dingy and gray Kansas (a la "The Wizard of Oz")

    I know things are much better there now, and I am so glad for this country.

Speak Your Mind

*