Sunday, July 31, 2022

An East German Textbook’s Explanation of the Berlin Wall

On a recent visit to Germany I picked up some East German history textbooks, which make interesting reading. I've posted one textbook’s account of the necessity of the Berlin Wall.


Anonymous said...

Cheers, Randall, what an interesting find. Striking in retrospect how much time the East Bloc devoted to “making the record” for future historians who, it turns out, never gave a damn and never will. Similar obsolescence was the fate of 50% of my undergrad curriculum (BA Russian and East European Studies UNC Chapel Hill 1988), at least what scrutinized command economics and social policy therein

Sandy Petersen said...

I feel that the explanations for the Wall are on their face ridiculous. How would one tiny wall in the middle of Berlin somehow prevent the West from their supposed aggression?

Randall Bytwerk said...

Well, it was a little more nuanced. The purpose wasn’t to protect against NATO tanks crossing into East Berlin, but rather, it was claimed, to stop Western scoundrels from entering the GDR for subversive purposes. It also stopped Eastern Germans from taking jobs in the West.