The Weakest Goes to the Wall
I thought of this as I perused an online archive of German propaganda from the Nazi and East German regimes. The East German pieces are especially fascinating because of their novelty. Pop history has covered the Nazis so thoroughly there’s no revelation to be gained from leafing through their propaganda: they hated Jews, loved blondes and thought Germans were better than anybody else. But the GDR propaganda archive contains actual surprises, like this excerpt from an East German article meant to justify the new Berlin Wall:
We no longer wanted to stand by passively and see how doctors, engineers, and skilled workers were induced by refined methods unworthy of the dignity of man to give up their secure existence in the GDR and work in West Germany or West Berlin. These and other manipulations cost the GDR annual losses amounting to 3.5 thousand million marks.I’d always assumed East Germany justified the wall by calling it necessary to keep out the invading armies of the Western imperialists, similar to our proposed Mexican border fence. Maybe that's what the East Germans were told, but this piece was written for foreign distribution, an attempt to justify the wall to the rest of the world.
I know, “East German Communism sucks” is an outdated point to make in 2006, but I can’t bear to look at any current news sites until after tomorrow, when the elections end and the political ads go away. Propaganda for the Berlin Wall is better, because the wall’s long gone.