Always tension between east and west berlin and eastern and western Europe - JFK went to the wall in 1960 and made his speech saying we stand with everyone, not just the west - Bruce Springsteen invited into East Berlin and did a concert o He said he’s not a political guy but we love rock and roll o East berlin government did this because they knew they were losing their people o Losing people like Alex and his sister o It didn’t make it better it made it worse because the East Berlin people wanted to be modernized
September 25, 2016 - Ronald Reagan made his speech saying “Mr. Gorbachav, tear down this wall!!” - This comes to a head in the film is that Hungary (next door) effectively disabled its border defenses in August 1989 with East Berlin and Austria - 10s of thousands of people took off that way and then they shut that door - then the USSR slackened up its political hold on Hungary and Poland - that initiated more protests in East Berlin and East Germany - they reference a guy named Eric Polander - he was basically president of GDR from 1971 to fall of the wall - he retired October 18, 1989 because he didn’t like the pressure - Alex and friends do street protests at the beginning of the film - Finally they decided people can move back and forth they didn’t care anymore, they told military don’t stop it anymore just let them go - June 13, 1990 military officially begin to dismantle the wall, it took a year or two to actually get it down - East Germany adopted West Germany currency o The exchange rate screwed people over o Fall of wall marked first critical steps towards unification creating Germany we recognize today - This is the only transition of its kind in our modern history - Mostly since we’ve been alive bigger states rip themselves into smaller sovereign states, they don’t really unify together o Could there be others? North Korea and South Korea? Old Soviet Union? Ukraine and Russia (hot button issue)? Bellaruse or Khazikstan reunify with Russia - Reflective of crucial 21 st century history of Europe for a whole
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- Spring '08
- Cold War, Eastern Bloc, East Berlin