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East Germany

Fighting for Equal Opportunity in Germany

John Feffer | Posted 12.08.2014 | World
John Feffer

Marina Grasse is a biologist who was involved in the independent peace movement in East Germany in the 1980s. I met her in 1990 (when she was Marina Beyer) to talk about the Pankow Peace Circle and how it was adapting to the new circumstances in a democratic East Germany.

The Wall

John Feffer | Posted 11.13.2014 | World
John Feffer

For most Americans, the fall of the Berlin Wall remains the iconic image of the changes that took place in East-Central Europe 25 years ago. Just look at how the U.S. media has been covering the anniversary of 1989.

The Costs of German Reunification

John Feffer | Posted 11.12.2014 | World
John Feffer

The cost of that economic and political reunification was shouldered almost entirely by West Germans while the benefits flowed mostly to the East Germans. Economist Rudiger Frank has a different view of what happened in those years.

At Hohenschonhausen

Leah Griesmann | Posted 11.11.2014 | World
Leah Griesmann

Though Berlin is one of Europe's most diverse and progressive cities, it doesn't take long for a foreign visitor to start to feel like they're partaking in a form of gloom tourism. Should we visit the Stasi Museum or the Holocaust Memorial? The Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue or the Reichstag?

Lessons of the Berlin Wall's Forgotten Aftermath

Tim Stone | Posted 11.10.2014 | World
Tim Stone

Though the Wende, or "Change," freed the East German people from over forty years of Stalinist dictatorship, remembering the forgotten side of German unification -- when right-wing hooligans waged thousands of attacks on defenseless foreigners -- provides a cautionary tale of failed leadership.

The 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Joseph A. Palermo | Posted 11.08.2014 | Politics
Joseph A. Palermo

Many historians trace the seeds of the momentous events of November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, as being planted back in August 1975 when 35 nations, including the United States, unanimously approved the Helsinki Accords.

When the Wall Fell

Anya Schmemann | Posted 11.07.2014 | World
Anya Schmemann

As the wall fell, so did our notions of the existing world order. My generation had grown up with the Cold War. It had shaped our world view and our understanding of global politics and power. If the wall could fall, anything was possible.

Rocking the Wall -- The Berlin Concert that Changed the World

Erik Kirschbaum | Posted 11.07.2014 | Books
Erik Kirschbaum

Whether or not you believe that Springsteen's concert really had something to do with the fall of the Wall depends on how much you believe in the power of rock and roll. But I think what is beyond doubt is that the concert is a glorious example of the influence that rock can have on people who are hungry and ready for change.

Why Gorbachev Feels Betrayed By The Post-Cold War West

The WorldPost | Nathan Gardels | Posted 11.07.2014 | World

On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, remains a hero in the West. But the West is no long...

The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

Victor Dorff | Posted 11.06.2014 | Travel
Victor Dorff

Twenty-five years ago this week, the unthinkable happened. On November 9, 1989, East Germany opened the gates, allowing its citizens to travel west. On a recent tour of Berlin, I was struck by how often the "unthinkable" suddenly becomes reality,

The Night the Wall Came Down

Dorian de Wind | Posted 11.05.2014 | World
Dorian de Wind

I personally will never forget the night of Nov. 9, 1989, the night when "the Wall came down." I was living and working in Brussels, Belgium at the time and watched, via live TV, history being made.

Towns Split By East German Wall Reunited Again

AP | KERSTIN SOPKE | Posted 11.07.2014 | World

BOECKWITZ, Germany (AP) — Friedrich-Wilhelm Lenz was only a toddler when the wall went up that split his family's 75-hectare (185-acre) farm in two ...

Dealing With the Stasi

John Feffer | Posted 11.10.2014 | World
John Feffer

Today David Crawford reports for The Wall Street Journal from Berlin. When I met him 23 years ago, he was one of the most knowledgeable researchers into the Stasi. Through careful investigation, he put together a series of lists that exposed the inner workings of the organization.

A Bubble Generation: The Millennials, Generation X, and Historical Amnesia

Christine Henseler | Posted 10.20.2014 | Impact
Christine Henseler

It is time we recognize the impact that Generation Xers across the globe have had on the Millennials' outlook on life, work, politics, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, activism or culture. Let's not sell our Millennials short. Let's add nuance and perspective to the conversation. Let's burst that bubble, shall we?

The Monday Demonstrations

John Feffer | Posted 09.28.2014 | World
John Feffer

The citizens of Leipzig are very proud of the fact that the East Germany revolution of 1989 began in their city.

Let Eastern Ukraine Go

Blake Fleetwood | Posted 09.28.2014 | Politics
Blake Fleetwood

It doesn't matter. It's a small, totally irrelevant piece of land. Give the separatists a measure of autonomy.

Prayer Meetings in Leipzig

Martin Marty | Posted 09.06.2014 | Religion
Martin Marty

Impelled, he made clear, by Jesus and the gospel of peace, and inspired by other leaders with names like Bonhoeffer, King, and Gandhi, he believed in, preached, and practiced the way of peace. Führer worked with young people who were hungry for freedom and who would pray and march their way toward its realization.

Too Bad Ukraine Didn't Keep Its 2,000 Nuclear Weapons

Blake Fleetwood | Posted 06.30.2014 | Politics
Blake Fleetwood

The U.S. should tone down the rhetoric and concentrate on the core issues for worldwide peace and accept the Crimean reality. The solution will evolve slowly, if we let it.

Bridging the East-West Divide

John Feffer | Posted 06.25.2014 | World
John Feffer

In the 1970s and 1980s, the West European peace and environmental movement reached out, tentatively at first and then more vigorously, to the dissident groups in Eastern Europe. Nowhere was this more evident than in West Germany. Eva Quistorp was a driving force behind the east-west dialogue.

The Lives of Others: Lessons Not Learned

K.J. Wetherholt | Posted 06.16.2014 | Politics
K.J. Wetherholt

That history repeats itself is a known truth borne from both philosophical reminders and from experience, for humanity has a way of forgetting its most important lessons, even those from fewer than three decades ago.

A Final Nail in the USSR Coffin? Thank You From NATO, Vladimir Vladimirovich!

John Brown | Posted 06.14.2014 | Politics
John Brown

Even from the most cynical Cold-War, money-is-money, dog-eat-dog capitalism-is-capitalism perspective, a redrawn Ukraine would be far more in the West's, rather than strictly "Russian," "ethnic" interest.

Countering Sexism in East Germany

John Feffer | Posted 05.10.2014 | World
John Feffer

"For the first time ever in Germany we have a debate about the relationship between the sexes and especially concerning the workplace, all those things that happen daily and people just say: 'Oh, don't take it seriously, it is not so bad after all.'"

The Largest Human Rights Movement in the East

John Feffer | Posted 05.03.2014 | World
John Feffer

In East-Central Europe prior to 1989, the faces of the human rights movement were the signatories of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, the dissident writers in Hungary, the Solidarity trade union leaders in Poland, the renegade Party members in Romania. Roland Jahn doesn't disagree that these were important human rights movements. He was, after all, a part of them.

The File

John Feffer | Posted 04.30.2014 | World
John Feffer

As researchers patiently reconstruct the materials that Stasi employees tried to tear up before the archive passed out of their hands, the piles of files only grows higher. Tens of thousands of people each year go through the process of looking at their files. Marcel Rotter is one of those people.

Why North Korea Today Is Not East Germany 1989

John Feffer | Posted 04.13.2014 | World
John Feffer

Just as the seemingly impregnable Honecker regime rapidly disintegrated along with the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the Kim dynasty in North Korea has been expected to collapse at any minute. This minute, of course, has lasted for more than two decades.