Die wende from east germany to post-chavista venezuela caracas chronicles zyklon b gas effects


While one can know the basics—single-party dictatorship, the all-seeing Stasi, the Berlin Wall—sometimes you forget that, for many people, this is their past and, in many ways, their present. The man in front of me waved amused to his companion a greenish East German ID card; another fellow, just leaving the museum, cheerfully whistled Auferstanden aus Ruinen. Through a window one could see children in the museum poking a Trabant, one of the worst automobiles ever made.

I can’t help but have a twitch in my eye because of the similarities with my own country. East Germany was ruled by the SED, the Socialist Unity Party, whose only opposition were dismal, powerless parties. During its 40-year history, it ran a planned economy defined by scarcity and low-quality goods, with an infamous intelligence service that “knew everything about everyone.”

Berlin museums are an example of how people bring themselves together after near-Apocalypse. The detailed horror of the Gestapo and the Nazi regime at Topographie des Terror, and the bureaucratic and dehumanizing abuse at the Stasi Museum are a statement, but the best description I can come up for the DDR Museum is, basically, a Museo de los Niños about a failed socialist state. © DDR Museum, Berlin 2017

For instance, in the school and education section, you go through the East German school system, from kindergarten to college (or, more likely, trade school). You open a lid and read about the communal potty training, the next drawer has drawings of children hugging soldiers and cheering for the government, the next is filled with textbook reproductions.

But where the museum truly excels is at how interactive and detail-oriented it is. You slide in your hand into Kaffee-Mix while reading about the coffee crisis of the late 70s, you turn a crank to see puppets of the opposition parties, cheerfully voting for laws the SED needed. You even have Haunted Mansion-style portraits of Engels, Marx and Lenin moving, and in true Museo de los Niños fashion, you can pretend-drive a Trabant with windshield projection. © DDR Museum, Berlin 2017

Today in Alexanderplatz, the iconic Berliner square that saw massive protests, you can buy pieces of the wall, old Soviet hats and Karl Marx piggy banks, among other Ostalgie knick-knacks. gas monkey bar and grill In Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between the divided Berlin, you can take pictures with actors dressed as U.S. soldiers, waving Old Glory while Starbucks and McDonald’s loom in the back.

It’s still a long way until we have a Post-Chavista Venezuela with its own Museum of Chavismo. It’ll take a long time and patience to rebuild the country, and when that happens—that’s a when, not an if—here’s an example of another people who took a good look at themselves and, with honesty and pain, grew united, stronger into the future, while looking at the warnings from the past.

Firstly, it looked and felt a lot different from Venezuela under chavismo. That is not to make any excuse for the ruin that chavismo has brought to Venezuela, or downplay its effects, but a totalitarian communist state in the 20th century was a different kind of nightmare to behold. People had internalized the fear and domination for decades, in a way that made the very act of speech in a public place with another person a fraught and complicated ritual. Why is that important for this discussion? It is important because we know that an extremely effective, deep-seated and powerful dictatorship collapsed, and was replaced by democracy, in a very short space of time.

Second point echoes the author. The DDR came down, but we don’t yet know I think, the long term implications of all of that. There is nostalgia for the past. elektricity club There are leaders who want to create a nostalgia for the past. There is resentment against the more successful and outgoing sibling. It gets passed down to the next generations. The status some had in their contained totalitarian society is gone. The “security”. The predictability. The sameness. The language. People often like those things. power outage houston report Meanwhile, their siblings on the other side of the country – or in the large cities- are doing well, outwardly focused, comfortable with their cosmopolitan, liberal and open society, and wanting more of the same.

The Russian people obviously hadn’t internalized the fear and domination of totalitarian Communist rule in-say- 1918. Obviously, you could have lingering heeby jeebies and domination from pre-Communist despotisms like the Tsarist one in Russia, the Qing and various warlords in China, and authoritarian Eastern Euro independence leaders like Pilsudski in Poland and Pats in Estonia. In the same way we can talk of prior Venezuelan experiences under dictatorships like Castro, Contreras, and so on.

Venezuela’s been going through this in various shades for Quite some time- 1999 or so arguably- but it’s still nowhere near as old as East Germany and followed a much more “Gradual” Transition than it or the main ones did. The best comparison I can think of would be to North Vietnam circa 1965/6, and the general state of chaos and death is fairly similar.

The GDR wasn’t really POWERFUL. It was an appanage of the Soviet Empire, which it was reliant on for an awful lot of stuff, ranging from defense (no Soviet troops, no credible military position for the GDR) to funding. If you cut it off from Soviet support and chucked it into-say- the 17th century HRE I’m not sure how well it would have compared as an independent actor, let alone a powerful one.

Certainly, it managed to turn a large ratio of its people into informers for the Stasi. The problem is that when you get to those percentages, it’s kinda freaking economically nonviable. Not only do you need a massive amount of stuff to give them in order to keep buying their loyalty and a bloated bureaucracy to tend to all the agents, but you get to the point where you reach the NPD Problem the German Republic’s faced lately: that you have so many people “in” that it becomes credible that they can cooperate with each other to undermine their stated mission.

Dos you say you think they are winning the war against hyper inflation???!!!!! I beg to differ. Prices increase on a daily basis now. I have been working in a hardware store for the last month now (one of the only places left in town with a working internet connection) and watch and listen as people come in to ask the prices of things and then leave mostly empty handed as they realize they can’t afford to buy even one of the items they came to acquire. electricity human body Quotes used to be good for at least a week as of a month ago now they last hours not even days. The owner consults the distributor price list just before she gives a price quote to the client. In some cases the distributor fails to update or respond quickly enough an she sells for the last quoted price only to find out that the price almost doubled and she just decapitalized on that particular item. It’s gotten to the point now that she swears she is going to close this month and not bother to reopen. As of last week if she can’t get a recent price for an item she just simply will not sell it.

To sight another example of how bad it is, I know 2 liquor store owners who are on the verge of closing their doors as well. One sold 1 package of cigarettes over the weekend (individually mind you) and the other sold 1 case of beer (again individually as in 1 beer and 1 cigarette at a time) which is something totally unheard of in this tourist town. The only people with long lineups of customers are the local Chinese grocers. Who incidentally pay everyone including the fair price police (sundae) to charge whatever they want. tortugas ninjas Every once in a while a shipment of regulated price chicken comes in and the lineups go around the block and it is bought up before the sun goes down. Everytime that has happened fist fights and break out and people have even been cut as they squabble over who was in front of who in the line up. I certainly don’t go anywhere near those stores when regulated food comes in. find a gas station close to me I value my life and know I would be lynched if I tried to buy subsidized food.

I beg to differ on that as well Capa. As Bill Bass has pointed out by daring to stand in these lines to listen to the conversations. Everyone hates Maduro, you don’t hear anyone defending that dictator anymore. And tension is mounting daily as Christmas is coming and people have already eaten their alginaldos (christmas bonus? Not sure how its spelled) Also a young man (24 years old I think?) from this town that my wife went to school with was murdered about a week ago. He was well known here for his opposition politics and his outstanding public speaking abilities and frequently led the local church in prayers. Very well loved and admired here. The first news we got was that he died of a heart attack but after an autopsy revealed that he had his head smashed in and his neck broken after being publicly threatened by Lacava the Chavista governor of Carabobo, people are in an uproar around here about that. If you stick your head out, you get it lopped off is the intended message. Lets see how long they can keep up that policy before people stop giving a fuck and start fighting back. If that happened to my young prodigy I would promptly go berserk and dedicate the rest of my short ass life and every resource at my disposal to avenge his death, this I swear.

Jose Tapia, Allende’s Education Minister, announced plans in early 1973 for radical transformation of Chile’s educational system, Educacion Nacional Unificada, a.k.a. the ENU. Tapia stated that the ENU would instill “values of socialist humanism” in its students. Tapia also admitted that the ENU was based on the East German educational system. The Catholic Church hierarchy’s opposition to the ENU was the first time it had opposed the Allende government. Many military officers also expressed opposition- with one exception being Carlos Prats, then the head of the Army. James Whelan_Out of the Ashes: Life, Death & Transfiguration of Democracy in Chile 1933-1988 pages 395-396(413-414)

President Bachelet spent several years in exile in East Germany, as did Roberto Ampuero, currently Chile’s Foreign Minister. all 4 gas giants names His memoir of his time in East Germany and Cuba indicate that Ampuero didn’t draw the same conclusions about real existing socialism that Bachelet did. Nuestros años verde olivo. I recommend the book to all Allende fans. Ampuero, once a member of Communist Youth, changed his mind.