MY EXPERIENCE IN COMMUNIST EAST BERLIN & FREE WEST BERLIN IN 1977
I am a Vietnam era veteran, and I was last posted as a registered nurse on active duty in the United States Army Reserve Nurse Corps to 2nd General Hospital, Landstuhl, Germany in 1975. During our orientation we were asked to visit East Germany (the German Democratic Republic or GDR) because Communists were telling East Germans that the American military were leaving West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG). We were told to "wear your uniform so you will not be shot as a spy." So in July of 1977, shortly before I was due to come home, I flew 100 miles behind the Iron Curtain to West Berlin. After finding a place to stay and touring West Berlin, I toured East Berlin by bus and then by foot via Checkpoint Charlie. After a few days I departed West Berlin on the "troop train," an overnight trip that took 9 hours because every 20 miles the train was stopped for the East German engineers to be exchanged, so they could not collude and escape with the train again. So why would anyone try to escape the utopia foretold in the Communist Manifesto?
I found West Berlin to be very upbeat with lots of people, vehicles, stores, and colorful signs in evidence. Only one building, a church, was left with its bullet ridden walls unchanged as a memorial to World War II (the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial). I rode public transportation and was handed a leaflet advertising a Communist demonstration which I saw and photographed later.
East Berlin was a very different story. It was depressingly quiet with very few vehicles and without colorful signs. People I walked by on my solo walking tour stared without returning my smile. A memorable statue downtown was a roughly three story high, stooped over workman wearing a huge frown with a sickle on his back.
President Barack Obama's speeches as a presidential candidate reminded me of the prepared speech of the middle aged, East Berlin guide who got on my tour bus at the Communist end of Checkpoint Charlie. Obama's communist agenda matched what I heard and witnessed that day and has inspired me to reveal the communist threat our nation faces today.
As we drove through East Berlin's streets, still bombed out and shot up 32 years post World War II, our guide listed problems like the need for more housing that the government was going to solve. Problems that I knew were well in hand on the free West Berlin side. Her rehearsed delivery of the utopian changes to come because of government made me think that she was brain washed.
Then we stopped for a bite to eat at a small cafeteria. I, an almost 25 year old uniformed United States Army officer, was sitting at a table with a middle aged stranger. Our tour guide confidently sat down with us and began to share how much she and her family hated living in East Germany, how her children were in trouble at school because they preferred learning English to Russian as their second language, and how her husband could leave the country to attend medical conferences but they could not accompany him.
Afterwards I was thinking that she was definitely not brain washed, and I was surprised when the stranger at the table said "That is the stupidest woman you will ever meet in your life." When I asked why, he stated "Either one of us could have been a plant." He explained that in World War II he was a spy in Berlin for the Allies, and now he was on his first visit "to see the changes."
The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 in the former Potsdamer Platz (pictured above on the side of West Berlin's overlook of the Berlin Wall) by East Germany to stop people from leaving the Communist controlled east side for the Western controlled west side. Below are: copies of my travel orders; the pictures taken with my small Kodak 110 camera on July 31-Aug 2, 1977; and to their right the brief descriptions I wrote on their backs (Brandenburger Tor is the German name for the Brandenburg Gate).
Please click or touch on pictures below to enlarge:
Copyright 2011 Diane Vann: Communist Threat. All Rights Reserved
Curtis Bowers recounts his memory of attending a meeting at the University of California, Berkeley in 1992. At the weekend meeting, Communist Party USA members detailed their agenda for grinding America down. Among others, they planned to get behind the environmental and feminist movements. He brings attention to the book The Naked Communist, authored by W. Cleon Skousen and published in 1958, that outlined a similar agenda and listed 45 goals, mostly accomplished now, to subvert us. "Agenda: Grinding America Down" available as DVD on Amazon.