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East Germany

Dealing With the Stasi

John Feffer | Posted 09.10.2014 | 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 08.28.2014 | 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 07.29.2014 | 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 07.29.2014 | 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.

Being Quaker in East Germany

John Feffer | Posted 03.04.2014 | World
John Feffer

Ulrich Tschirner is a scientist who also stepped forward in the 1990s, somewhat reluctantly, to serve as a local politician. Tschirner described some of the environmental victories that the Greens and civic movements achieved after 1989. Progress on peace issues, however, has been somewhat more elusive.

Germany's Post-Reunification Foreign Policy

John Feffer | Posted 02.26.2014 | World
John Feffer

In general, Germany has kept its head down and focused a great deal on domestic issues.

Creating a Parallel Society in the GDR

John Feffer | Posted 02.17.2014 | World
John Feffer

One of the key contributions of the Polish opposition movement was its concept of living "as if." This "as if" approach greatly influenced opposition movements elsewhere in the Soviet bloc. In East Germany, for instance, Gerd Poppe was deeply involved in the transition from the conspiratorial work of the 1970s to the more open organizing of the 1980s.

Following the Magic to Eastern Europe

John Feffer | Posted 02.15.2014 | World
John Feffer

It's not as easy to cover Eastern Europe any longer as a freelance journalist. Editors are no longer falling over themselves to solicit articles.

YU-Rock!

John Feffer | Posted 02.12.2014 | World
John Feffer

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, a "republic of letters" created a common intellectual language across countries and, indeed, across the Atlantic between Europe and the United States. Beginning in the 1960s, a similar non-territorial republic emerged in Yugoslavia.

A Child of 1989

John Feffer | Posted 02.01.2014 | World
John Feffer

The changes that took place in East-Central Europe in 1989 were not just an inflection point for people in the region. The lives of many outsiders were profoundly altered by what happened that year.

Maintaining a Moral Politics

John Feffer | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
John Feffer

In the early days of the changes in 1989, a new kind of politics emerged within the opposition movements poised to enter parliaments and governments. Many dissidents had a deep distrust of political parties and of political compromise.

5 Fascinating Former DDR Locales

Rachel Stern | Posted 10.04.2013 | Travel
Rachel Stern

For Germans, October 3 marks the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), a national holiday commemorating Reunification in 1990. The country's five eastern German states merged with West Germany to form one nation shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Germany's Third Generation East

John Feffer | Posted 10.01.2013 | World
John Feffer

Common sense suggests that young Germans are looking exclusively at the future, and the country has moved on from the debates over reunification and the fate of East Germany. But common sense is wrong.

What Happened to East Germany's Workers?

John Feffer | Posted 11.30.2013 | World
John Feffer

The first major challenge to the new Communist authorities in East-Central Europe came from the workers in East Germany. What started out as a strike of 300 East Berlin construction workers upset at higher work quotas quickly became an insurrection.

An Inclusive Germany

John Feffer | Posted 11.26.2013 | World
John Feffer

Demonstrators in East Germany initially focused on das Volk (the people) but switched after the fall of the Wall to ein Volk (one people), putting the emphasis on the national rather than the civic.

Them

John Feffer | Posted 11.11.2013 | World
John Feffer

Every country in Eastern Europe had "them" - the Communists who put the Soviet Union above any national priorities. But in East Germany, a more potent "them" eventually emerged: the Stasi.