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This photo will mean absolutely nothing to college students

This photo will mean absolutely nothing to college students

Communism and socialism are cool, they are taught.

I saw this photo on Twitter.

The image is not dated, but I’m guessing the very early 1960’s, before the Berlin wall was completed.

Having crossed from West to East and back again several times, though not in Berlin and more than a decade later, something about this photo brings back quite a bit of emotion.

When I see college students, often at the instigation of faculty, glorifying Marxism, I just have to shake my head.

(Soviet flag at Occupy Philadelphia)

(Soviet flag at Occupy Philadelphia)


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TrooperJohnSmith | September 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm

The impressive thing is that she did it in what appears to be heels, or at least leather-soled dress shoes. If you’ve ever been on cobblestones in slick bottom shoes, you know what I mean! It’s especially amazing considering they were probably Ossie (eastern) or Soviet made, and they didn’t come apart when she ran.

A customer of mine, Kurt, who lives in Berlin, remembers when the wall went up, literally overnight. One of Kurt’s cousins lived with him and was ultimately made of ward Kurt’s parents, because the cousin’s parents had been visiting relatives in east Berlin and were trapped when the wall went up. The only thing that saved their son was school exams that he could not miss. They were not united until the wall finally fell.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | September 13, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Fascinating, certainly brings back memories of that strange time.

Wonder how many young Beria’s, Che’s, or Chavez’s are spouting their Marxist rhetoric on college campuses though out the land; even a few Eichmann’s too!

The woman in this picture:
a) just beat Jesse Owens’ 100 meter record
b) is trying to remember the email addresses of the guards on the right
c) just escaped East Berlin

There are a lot of young “adults” who have very little knowledge of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Soviet Union or the evils of communism because they were either very young, not alive at the time or, more importantly, not taught the facts in school. The left has managed to whitewash communism to the point where it’s viewed by the young as just another political ideology.

    Radegunda in reply to Sanddog. | September 13, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Almost as soon as the Wall came down and the Soviet Empire unraveled, academic leftists set about to salvage the reputation of totalitarian Marxism. It was clear they had succeeded when the U.S. electorate put a far-left radical in the White House.

    Spiny Norman in reply to Sanddog. | September 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    …not taught the facts in school.

    This bears repeating. This third item is also is designed to take advantage of the first two.

That is an amazing picture. West German guards standing stout against machine guns to protect a woman they’ve never even met.

I bet few young people have seen “The Lives of Others”. It should be required viewing in college, but won’t be — it upsets too many of the professors.

    DINORightMarie in reply to MikeInCA. | September 14, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I appreciate your posting that – I’ve never heard of that video/film, and would love to see it, and share it with others.

    If history was taught in this country (and if revisionists were run out on a rail for trying to erase our nation’s miraculous, incredible founding, and providential past), then our nation would most likely not be where it is today.

    One of the greatest sins of Hollywood (and they are legion) is how they made almost no films about the barbarity of the Soviet Bloc. I can only remember a couple and one of them focused mainly on how difficult it was to get an abortion.

    I would bet there are more movies about the excesses of McCarthyism than there are the atrocities of the Communists.

Did you ever wonder who painted the white line ?

    ss396 in reply to Neo. | September 16, 2014 at 12:05 am

    The Soviets; the Western occupation forces had no interest in partitioning Berlin. Berlin was an open city, although an island in the middle of East Germany, until Khrushchev closed the Russian sector. In his memoirs Khrushchev admitted that if Kennedy had sent a couple of tanks toward the Russian sector then the East Germans would have abandoned the wall.

    Instead, we got what the Berliners called “the world’s largest prison.”

    I visited Berlin in the ’70s. Standing by that wall and knowing what it meant is why to this day I find the idea of building a wall across our southern border to be a hateful, despicable, and loathsome idea.

      swanzinator in reply to ss396. | September 16, 2014 at 2:27 am

      Except there’s one big difference: the soviets built their wall to keep people in; our wall would be to keep people out. Communism vs Capitalism. A pretty significant difference.

      UncleFester in reply to ss396. | September 16, 2014 at 3:32 am

      I read that before Reagan gave his “tear down this wall” the State Department kept removing the passage from the speech, telling the White House that nobody in Berlin cared whether the wall was there or not.

      One of Reagan’s advance men went to Berlin a few days before the speech and was invited by a resident to have dinner at their home with some of their friends. While chatting after dinner he casually mentioned that he had been told by the State Department that Berliners didn’t care about the wall.

      He said it got very quiet in the house. After a few seconds one of the other guests said, in a voice trembling with anger, that he had been misinformed. They hated the wall. Absolutely hated it, and every thing it stood for. And they encouraged the staffer to please tell that to President Reagan.

      He did, and Reagan put it back in the speech.

      And the world changed.

Not just taught: they had to be “carefully taught”.

To be fair, republican-style governments are only suitable for moral (i.e. religious) people. It is wholly unsuitable for people who cannot or will not self-moderate their behavior, who dream of instant or immediate gratification, or await another hit from the opiate of dissociation of risk. Left-wing regimes serve the purpose of establishing minority control and consolidation of capital through establishment of authoritarian monopolies. They are also useful to enforce a consensus between conflicting factions, at the loss of liberty and self-actualization.

    Radegunda in reply to n.n. | September 14, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Right-wing authoritarian governments and traditional aristocratic monarchies have served that purpose with much less misery.

    DaveGinOly in reply to n.n. | September 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    “Morality” does not require “religion.” There have been many societies with moral codes, some similar to our own, that had religions other than those that are popular today. If you consider, say, Christianity, to be the only “true” religion, then the rest must be “false.” (That is to say that they are not religions at all, but are systems of false belief. A “true” religion must recognize the “true” god. If you consider that there is only one true god, then all true religions must recognize that god. The worship of a false god is the worship of no god at all, and therefore can’t actually be a “religion.” A false religion worships/recognizes a god that doesn’t and therefore worships/recognizes nothing at all.) This means that all societies that developed moral codes without Christianity did so without “religion.”

    If the term “religion” doesn’t refer strictly to a true system of belief, then morality can be created from beliefs that are untrue and aren’t “divinely inspired.” This makes those moral systems completely man-made. And if they are man-made, those moral systems could just as well have been created without the interposition of a religion. Even if most (if not all) of our morality derives from systems of religious belief, this does not mean that in the absence of those beliefs that no morality would have been possible. Morality can develop in the absence of religion as a function of a need for purely secular rules in order to maintain civic systems of social organizations. Even if all known moral systems were derived from religions, this is not evidence (and certainly not proof) that religion is necessary for morality, but merely an historical fact. History does not record which came first nor can it demonstrate that systems of morality can’t be created in the absence of religion.

    The only thing that religion (even a “false” one) can do is instill a fear in the individual against doing what is morally wrong, and/or create a hope of reward for doing what is morally right. This is not true morality. Morality, in its pure state, is doing what is right because it is right, and not out of fear of punishment or hope of reward.

      The only thing that religion (even a “false” one) can do is instill a fear in the individual against doing what is morally wrong, and/or create a hope of reward for doing what is morally right. This is not true morality.

      Heh. It’s only folks who think like DaveGinOly who can do right because it’s right. Give me a break. (This is getting off topic, so you can have the final word. It’s the “right” thing for me to do.)

Have a friend who left East Berlin during peristroika (sp?). She was barely a teenager but remembers her father, who was a teacher, being imprisoned for three years then released and told to get out of the country. He took his wife and child and a stack of official paperwork and rode the train to West Germany – leaving everything they couldn’t pack in one suitcase behind and wondering if they really would be allowed to leave or simply taken off somewhere along the way and shot.

She says that an older woman sat next to them on the train. Something changed when they crossed over no man’s land and into the west, but my friend couldn’t put her finger on it. There was no wall in the countryside, but anywhere from one to five miles of dead land with wire and guard posts on either side. Then the older woman exclaimed, “It’s like walking into a color movie!” That was the difference. In the east all the houses were unpainted wood or common brick. It was winter so the land was a combination of mud, dead vegetation, dilapidated fences and abandoned vehicles with the occasional snow bank. In the west it was still winter, but the houses were neat, the farms obviously well taken care of and carefully planned. The houses were also painted in bright colors. In the small town where they left the train the streets were plowed, street lights were on, businesses were open and the cities glowed with life.

She had never seen anything like it.

    Keep recounting stories like that. Kids don’t understand. I just had a coworker retire. At the sendoff, he told us of his coming to America in the 50’s, escaping Communism. He had tears in his eyes. Another coworker of mine was a boat person who escaped Viet Nam in the 70’s.

    I don’t know where I caught it, but I have the horror of Communism even though I’ve lived my whole life in the USA. Thank God. I’ve made sure my kids understand what Communism means: you do what you’re told, or you get shot. Folks who promote it should be shunned, and they certainly shouldn’t get tenure at universities.

    snopercod in reply to xdevildog. | September 14, 2014 at 7:15 am

    There’s a book called Pursuing Liberty that is chock full of stories like that.

    WHAT IS FREEDOM WORTH? To those who have fled oppression and tyranny, it’s worth everything. These are the inspiring true life experiences of our newest patriots – all escaped their former homes at great risk, just for the chance of living a free life in America. They’ve come from Cuba, Venezuela, the former Soviet Union, Vietnam, and other countries to make their dreams of freedom come true

    DaveGinOly in reply to xdevildog. | September 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Ah, the East German border! I spent many a cold day and night (seems we were never there in the summer) watching the East German guards watch us watching them over the multiple fences with razor wire, vehicle patrol roads, dog runs, minefields, and observation towers. In a way, it’s a shame that all that no longer exists, because while it did, it was illustrative of dysfunctional form of government that builds obstacles not to keep enemies out, but to keeps its own citizens in.

    BetaPhi in reply to xdevildog. | September 16, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I experienced this same phenomenon, albeit I had a different reaction to it, in the years just after the wall had fallen. I think it was 1993 or 1994, and I came into Berlin by train from the south/east, from Prague if I remember correctly. Anyway, the line ran through East Berlin and then into West Berlin, and that difference you describe was so real, so stark – I had not thought about the film comparison, but that is a perfect analogy: going from black and white to color. We almost got off a stop too early, but really, just looking at the vacant train platform and essentially bombed out neighborhood, there was no way that was our stop.

    Next stop was Fruehling am Zoo. It was like walking from a barren, bleak tundra, turning a corner and finding yourself in Times Square. Stunning.

    We still have this, you know – it’s just along the 38th parallel on the Korean Peninsula. No better laboratory to teach the yoots than the reality still splitting the Koreas, one vibrant and free, one looking like the hell that Communism always visits on people and land. Just show them pictures of the Earth at night, and point out that dark blob in the northern part of the peninsula…

But Professor, any country can have 70 years straight drought. California is getting there. OK, maybe Stalin was a bit excessive in the killing department, but it was a great experiment, no? If we could just get back to authentic Marx and Lenin, it would all work out. Obama is our best chance of getting there. If he fails, we’re doomed to slavery under the insensitive capitalist pigs.

(/sarc, just in case)

    Sanddog in reply to JerryB. | September 14, 2014 at 12:44 am

    The “communism has never been properly tried” meme makes my head explode. Communism is a crackpot doctrine that can only be implemented through the use of force. Deadly force.

      Ragspierre in reply to Sanddog. | September 14, 2014 at 4:35 am

      I think it’s never been properly tried…

      In a court of law. THAT might work to educate people SOME.

      PersonFromPorlock in reply to Sanddog. | September 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

      On the principle that people are virtuous if their society is virtuous, Marxism is a system of virtuous forms; if you have the forms, you have the system.

      So it’s been tried, and it turns out that virtuous forms don’t result in virtuous leaders… au contraire. And that doesn’t even get into the question of how ‘virtuous’ the forms are.

        There is also the principle that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Communists have this love of placing power to compel the smallest details of daily life in the hands of people who are “experts.” In practice, and at their very best, these “experts” turn out to be people of no better than average ability who are very far removed from the subject matter of their decisions, both in location and in time.

        In time, these people become discouraged and corrupt, and the resulting bureaucratic horrors of the old Soviet Union and China manifest themselves.

        Communists are people who really do not like other people, and want to bully them.

        Marxism is a system of virtuous forms

        Please explain. Marxism is a system based on class envy. It steals from working people and encourages sloth. There’s nothing virtuous about Marxism.

        The notion that there is something OK about Marxism is the crux of the problem. Unwitting folks get this notion and come to think that they could do a better job than Stalin or Mao. No. Marxism is flawed at its inception.

          Ragspierre in reply to JerryB. | September 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

          I think what was meant was “virtuous forms” taken on their own claims.

          Consider Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, for instance. Sounds really good, huh?

          Freedom, equality (under the law, for argument’s sake), and brotherhood. I…even old, hard, me…could get behind that.

          But in application, you got the Terror and all the rest of the French Revolution, and then the dictatorship of Napolean, with the resulting bloodbath across Europe and into the Western Hemisphere.

          Collectivism is always sold on a wonderful-sounding package of lies. Always.

MouseTheLuckyDog | September 13, 2014 at 10:01 pm

They also probably have no idea what Checkpoint Charlie was.

    Walker Evans in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | September 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Likely not. They’re taught about the U.S. killings at Mi Lai, but you can bet your last cent they never heard about the Cong and NVA atrocities at Hue. An example: “…a squad with a death order entered the home of a prominent community leader and shot him, his wife, his married son and daughter-in-law, his young unmarried daughter, a male and female servant and their baby. The family cat was strangled; the family dog was clubbed to death; the goldfish scooped out of the fishbowl and tossed on the floor. When the Communists left, no life remained in the house.”

    Nice folks to emulate, eh?

Parents sending their children off to the leftist indoctrination camps known as ‘colleges’ are as lame and deserving of the debt and misery they hopefully get, as are supporters of the GOP who tolerate John Boehner as Squeaker of the House.

Very interesting photo. I don’t believe I’ve seen it before.

Good post, thanks.

Evidently our yoots fail to see the irony of supporting a system that polices its borders not to keep immigrants out but to keep the population IN.

West and East Berlin police face off at the E-W line dividing Berlin in 1955. Later, two white lines were painted several meters apart so that police would be more widely separated.

NBC slide 4

Vintage Everyday

It is so easy to be a marxist with somebody else’s money.

Most of today’s young marxists will jump ship as soon as they start having to pay their own bills with their own money.

What, exactly, is the difference between wearing a Che shirt and wearing a Himmler shirt?

    Ragspierre in reply to mzk. | September 14, 2014 at 4:33 am


    DINORightMarie in reply to mzk. | September 14, 2014 at 8:34 am

    The only real difference is that most today don’t even know who Himmler was.

    Che is glorified by the media, teachers, and faction groups who want to collapse our country. Many of these “yoots” don’t understand who the man, Che, was; however, all too many DO understand, but don’t know his real history – only the myths and legends made up to blind these young sheeple.

The sentimentality of Marxism propagated by the usually bohemian dressed and bearded college professor is most likely due to a romanticized acid flashback coupled with stunted maturation.

In other words, we are still paying for the sixties.

When I was a child, I was taught in school about the differences between capitalism as we practice it here in our country, and communism. I was taught that one vivid example is the difference in Berlin, where the Western sector had been rebuilt and was thriving, and the eastern sector remained destroyed by war, and was poor and decrepit.

I was skeptical about it all.

My father, however, was sergeant in the Air Force, and we did one concurrent tour in West Germany. We visited Berlin, quite some time before the Wall fell. I took a tour, on a bus, with officious “tour guides” telling the tourists not to take any pictures. It was exactly as had been described to me: colorless, broken-down, with few people. There was some advertising in the windows of a few stores. It was all posters from the West, including a large Revlon ad. There was NOTHING in the way of advertising for any kind of East German consumer goods.

The mess from WWII had not been cleaned up. There was rubble, there were building with bullet and artillery holes, and some “modern” apartment buildings that looked …. rusty.

I looked, and looked and looked, because I realized that they had told me the exact truth, and I had not believed it. I thought I was simply being told patriotic propaganda.

Has there been any follow-up on this woman? I would be interested to know what her life was like in the years following her escape?

Very good article. My husband made a very telling comment to me many years ago. He is convinced that most people do not want freedom. I didn’t used to agree but after the POS that calls himself Obama was re-elected, that won me over. I think freedom frightens most people, especially young women. Regrettably, they also vote.

    Ragspierre in reply to redbirdacres. | September 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I believe that the drive for freedom is literally a hunger in some people. They will do everything for it, literally.

    I want that to be universal, but it just isn’t. I want it to be inate, but history teaches it most often has to be taught.

    One of the great paradoxes of the Post-war South is that many emancipated slaves never left the places of their enslavement. They stayed on voluntarily. Change, it seems, is far more terrifying than much of anything else to humans.

    You can see the same thing in East Germany and former Soviet bloc nations. Some people are nostalgic for the old ways.