The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

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cyprusmax47
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The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by cyprusmax47 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:17 pm

Still very moving for me to watch videos like that, 30 years ago, when by mistake from officials, East Germans were allowed to cross the border to the western side of Berlin. After the wall was erected in 1961 on the inner German border more than 1000 people died when they tried to flee to the West.



Song: Scorpions, Wind of change

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jeba
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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by jeba » Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:18 am

People forgot what life in communist Eastern Germany was like. I will never forget those 2 trips I had taken there before the wall came down. E. g. the intimidating search process you were subjected to at the border. Or that the hotel restaurant had a 5 page menu but you could only order a sandwich because everything else was unavailable. And it was like that all over the city. We were searching for a restaurant for 3 hours but none allowed us in as they didn´t have enough food to give to random strangers like us. So we had to go back to our hotel and had a sandwich at least and at last. Or the pollution which gave you headaches. Or the heating in the hotel which you couldn´t turn down even though it was too hot. When we complained we were told to open the window (noise or no noise from outside). Or how Easterners were afraid of talking to us as they had to fear consequences for being caught engaging with Westerners.
Or the fact that you could have lost your chance of higher education or your job if you were caught speaking against communist mainstream policies (and you never knew whether there was a spy working for the state security service even among your family members or friends).
The Western societal and economic model has a lot of flaws - but it´s the lesser evil by a mile. I´m struggling to understand how the leftist party can get so many votes in Eastern Germany. Many people really seem to have forgotten.
Last edited by jeba on Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by LouiseCastricum » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:25 am

My husband was in Berlin for business the night the wall came down. It was unbelievable he said.
Louise :)

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by cyprusmax47 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:24 pm

I was very exited to be able to visit East Germany, just month after the sensation, which was only possible with President Mikhail Gorbachev's decision not to interfere when the peaceful revolution started in Poland, Hungary and Germany.
I was really shocked when I saw myself how the situation in large cities like Dresden, Leipzig and the industrial area around was. I went into business with a nice guy which came from that area and received a lot of unbelievable insider knowledge from him how things were. For example in factories was only work for 3-4 hours per day as they were short getting materials they needed for production. The rest of the day they were hanging around, waiting....If you was hungry the only food I got was privately or sometimes at the few motorways resting stations, like curry sausages and bread. Most roads you could only drive with 30-40 km speed as there were so many potholes. Many buildings which survived WW2 bombing were left to rot.
So, it was no wonder when people left the place towards West Germany, but for many it was not easy to cope with normal 10-11 working hours a day, specially when they used to work only a couple of hours/day in their previous jobs.

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by jeba » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:43 pm

cyprusmax47 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:24 pm
So, it was no wonder when people left the place towards West Germany, but for many it was not easy to cope with normal 10-11 working hours a day, specially when they used to work only a couple of hours/day in their previous jobs.
It was also not easy for people in Western Germany to come up with the trillions needed to to rebuild the East. Not only was there a special tax raised (originally a 10% surcharge, currently down to 5.5%) but pensions had also been reduced by about 30% to fund the Eastern pensioners who obviously had never paid contributions to the pension pot but have been treated as if they had. Unemployment benefits were drastically cut as the former level had become unsustainable due to the high number of unemployed in the East where most companies went bankrupt as they were not competitive. Rents increased because many Easterners moved westwards increasing demand for housing as they had lost their jobs in the East. In the town I used to live in building of a ring road was stopped as the funding was redirected eastwards. The list is long. So not everybody is as happy about reunification as the media might have you think.
When I hear people talk about about reunification of Cyprus I tend to say: be careful what you wish for.

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by LouiseCastricum » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:03 pm

jeba wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:43 pm
cyprusmax47 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:24 pm
So, it was no wonder when people left the place towards West Germany, but for many it was not easy to cope with normal 10-11 working hours a day, specially when they used to work only a couple of hours/day in their previous jobs.
It was also not easy for people in Western Germany to come up with the trillions needed to to rebuild the East. Not only was there a special tax raised (originally a 10% surcharge, currently down to 5.5%) but pensions had also been reduced by about 30% to fund the Eastern pensioners who obviously had never paid contributions to the pension pot but have been treated as if they had. Unemployment benefits were drastically cut as the former level had become unsustainable due to the high number of unemployed in the East where most companies went bankrupt as they were not competitive. Rents increased because many Easterners moved westwards increasing demand for housing as they had lost their jobs in the East. In the town I used to live in building of a ring road was stopped as the funding was redirected eastwards. The list is long. So not everybody is as happy about reunification as the media might have you think.
When I hear people talk about about reunification of Cyprus I tend to say: be careful what you wish for.
Very interesting post. Thank you !
Louise :)

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by jeba » Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:57 pm

LouiseCastricum wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:03 pm
Very interesting post. Thank you !
[/quote]
You´re welcome. If interested you can read more about it here: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/07/euro ... index.html

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cyprusmax47
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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by cyprusmax47 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:12 pm

This is my post one year ago, concerning West Germany's economy after the wall came down, and I have nothing to add today to my statement:



Re: Northern Cyprus.European funding.
Post by cyprusmax47 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:31 am

After the fall of the Berlin wall, West Germany's economy went up in a big way. In the first years there was a huge demand of everything the East Germans were dreaming of, for the past decades and a big boost for many West German Companies. As soon as it was possible, not only the big players of German business companies bought land and the derelict factories for as much as 1 DM and invested heavily in infrastructural projects as well. (just to name some...)

At that time I run still companies in Bavaria delivering huge amounts of goods to an sudden new market: East Germany. When my turnover in 1998 was 200.000/year, in 1990/91 this amount was in 1 month. When it was possible to visit the "other side" I had a 6 month break from Cyprus and visited towns in East Germany, meeting nice welcoming people there, which started with my knowledge and some start capital from me their own business.
Their only problem was that they were not used to work more than 4-6 hours a day as in their jobs there was not enough materials to work longer hours, like in the West where 8-10 hours/day was normal. It took them quite a time to get adjusted, but then you couldn't stop them working....

Without reunification Germany would never be in that strong position they are right now business-wise. Redundant figures showing recently 4.9% including all the immigrants which found work.

But then I think one cannot compare the Cyprus and Germany as there are so many countries and also religion is involved which makes it very difficult to find a solution....in Germany it was only the Russians to deal with, ( and a clever Gorbachev ) which took the moneys they were offered from the German Government and left the place. Plenty of this money has found it's way from Ukraine and Russia to Cyprus now though.... :)

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by bromerzz » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:04 am

When living in West Berlin from 79 to 81, a night out in East Berlin was always something to look forward to, usually starting in the Post office Tower restuarant. It was great value for money I think we could get 7 East Marks to the DM, and 5 DM to the £, I still have an old mess kit pocket watch I bought for 1 Reichmark that works.

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by cyprusmax47 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:21 pm

bromerzz wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:04 am
When living in West Berlin from 79 to 81, a night out in East Berlin was always something to look forward to, usually starting in the Post office Tower restuarant. It was great value for money I think we could get 7 East Marks to the DM, and 5 DM to the £, I still have an old mess kit pocket watch I bought for 1 Reichmark that works.
I never went to Berlin to visit the other side and their restaurants, but I believe that there existed some higher class ones where all the high ranking politicians enjoyed their time. For normal locals not possible because you had to pay with "West" money.
In the whole of East Germany only 25.000 eateries existed in 1989 and that for 14.5 million people. The normal procedure was, that you had to stay in a waiting room ca 1/2h until a waiter showed you a free table. If this was after 2 PM most kitchens were already closing. If you tried to order something from the menu it was not available, except curry sausages which were your alternative then. The word "Hamburger" was not allowed as it had to be called "Grilletta" as well as "Pizzeria" was banned and called "Krusta-Stube" instead. Any food which had to be imported was not available, except mushrooms from Poland and tin-soup from Russia. Big problems also with the service as your waiter was the "King" of the place and showed you very quickly the exit door if you dared to complain. It was very embarrassing for my hosts as they tried hard to take me out, in the end we stayed at their home most of the time.....

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Re: The Wall....Berlin Germany 1989, today 30 years ago(video)

Post by jeba » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:38 pm

In East Berlin it was somewhat better as it was prioritised when it came to supplies. In 1978 we were eating a 3 course meal (flambeéd at the table) at the restaurant next to the mayor´s hall for 6 Eastern marks. The official exchange rate to DM was 1:1 but the black market rate was 1:10. In front of the restaurant people asked me whether I´d sell them my jeans (which I was wearing) and my sunglasses. They also asked me to exchange DM - but I was too scared of being caught. There were also shops with a decent range of products - but you had to pay with DM.
Another interesting detail of those times. Western Germany paid 3 billion DM for 33000 political prisoners to be released.

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