STASI GERMANY ROOM 101
I have a small question for you. I am an A-Level student studying history and as part of our coursework we choose a subject which we feel is interesting and write a 3000 word report on it. My question is "How far a likeness is there between the Totalitarian state created by Orwell in "1984" and the Stasi police state in East Germany under Communism". I noticed on your website that you drew a comparison between East Germany and Orwell's creation and so wondered if you would be able to provide me with any information or merely your opinion on the matter. Any reply would be greatly appreciated.
Regards, David Inskip
You couldn't have picked a better day to ask your question about East Germany under Communism because today is V-E Day, meaning VICTORY in EUROPE Day which, to much of Europe, was actually DEFEAT day because Communist Russia, under Stalin, was given huge chunks of Europe as "spoils".
COLD WAR, WARM WAR and VICTORY DAY UN-VICTORY
Pre-war free countries that came under post-war Communist control included, among many others, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
Germany was divided in two and shared amongst the victors. France, Britain and USA got the western half and Russia got the eastern half. Towns, cities and countryside that were once ruled by Socialist Germany, were now ruled by Communist Russia.
And life in USSR's Germany, now called the Democratic Republic of Germany (GDR) was NOT democratic. It was a brutal totalitarian state run by a government that spied on all its citizens and demanded that the citizens also spy on each other. Just like what life had been like in the Soviet Union since the Communist Revolution of 1917 - ie the KGB spying on everyone - so too was life now like this in Eastern Germany with the STASI spying on everyone.
Inside the real Room 101. The Independent, Jun 18, 2004
STASILAND, by Anna Funder (book review)
Stasi = Staatssicherheitsdienst (compilaton of reviews of Stasiland: True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall)
Today in Moscow the leader of the USSR - Putin (a Russian Communist who used to be stationed in East Germany working for the STASI police spying on the German people and sending dissenters to prison, Siberia and elsewhere) - is hosting the leaders of USA, France, Japan, China etc. And the Soviet Union's flag and colours - red, white and blue - are being saluted by the United States whose own flag is famously nicknamed "The Red, White and Blue".
It is understandable that you, as a high school student, aren't very knowledgeable about life in East Germany. There isn't much talk in the Western World about life anywhere in the Eastern World. But hopefully the writings I've directed you to in the above and following links will help you in your understanding of "the Stasi police state in East Germany under Communism".
The city of Berlin - which had the unfortunate luck of being located inside the area of Germany handed to the Soviet Union - was deemed too important to be given away completely to the Communists and so it was divided into two and shared. One half went to the so-called Democracies (France, United States, Britain) and the other half to the Communists (USSR). A neutral drive-through zone was used as a road for free Germans (and others) to drive through Communist East Germany to and fro West Berlin.
Life in East Berlin was as horrific for the Germans as was life in the rest of East Germany and for fifteen years after the end of the war thousands of East Germans escaped into West Berlin.
Then in 1961 the USSR told England, France and USA that they wanted ALL of Berlin and were going to take it. The only leader who said "No, you can't have it" was that of the United States, ie President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He stood up to the Soviet Union and told them he'd go to war to keep West Berlin free.
So - out of anger - Kruschev, the leader of the USSR, built a WALL around the Communist section of Berlin and the people could no longer escape to freedom in West Berlin, and beyond that, to freedom elsewhere in West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany - FRG) or wherever they chose to go.
That's why JFK is such a hero to the German people of EAST and WEST Germany. He vowed to fight any further encroachment of Communism into Europe. That's why when JFK went to visit Berlin in August 1963, just three months before he was assassinated, the people of the city of West Berlin gave him the greatest standing ovation in the history of the world.
JFK VISITS BERLIN and JFK AT BERLIN WALL and JFK FASCINATES BERLINERS and LISTEN TO JFK'S VOICE
One of the few writers who ever managed to spread the truth about Totalitarianism (perpetrated by Communists AND Captalists) was George Orwell.
But he had to write his books as "fable" and "fiction" to get them past the censors. That's why Animal Farm and 1984 are written the way they are, ie cryptically and symbolically.
When the people of East Germany (and other countries taken over by the USSR after WWII) read Animal Farm and 1984 they fell totally in love with George Orwell because they knew he understood the truth and was "telling it like it is".
That's why Orwell's two masterpieces have been translated into 60 languages and spread (sometimes secretly) through underground networks among Eastern Europe and elsewhere in the world. Oppressed people - having experienced life under totalitarian dictatorships (disguised as democracies with their names, ie Peoples REPUBLIC of China; DEMOCRATIC Republic of Germany; Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics etc) - recognize Orwell for the great exposer of tyranny and defender of freedom that he was.
But people in the Western World - not having personal knowledge of life under Tyranny - don't really understand Orwell's writings (and probably won't, until it happens to them). But Orwell didn't want the Free World to have to learn the hard way and his hope was that people WOULD understand his books and thus be wise to the ways of "oligarchical collectivism" (the Capitalists joining with the Communists) and stop this tyranny ever entering their door - front, back, side or any other way (ie by destroying our foundations from within).
I hope that gives you some basic background for your 3,000-word report and a greater understanding of Orwell's masterpiece, "1984", and how it applies not only to Stasi Germany but also increasingly to present-day Western so-called "democracies".
All the best,
PS - I wasn't born until 1950 and have learned all my WWII history second-hand. My father, grandfather and other relatives risked their lives on the side of the Allies. But I remember I was quite shocked when I learned that the DEMOCRACIES (our side) had been on the same side as the COMMUNISTS, who were led by STALIN, the cruelest and biggest mass-murderer of the 20th century. He tortured, starved and worked to death over 20 million of his own people in the 22 years before WWII and in the six or so years after WWII until his death in 1953.
COMMUNISTS CRIMES EXPOSED
I didn't learn these facts in school. I had to do self-directed, independent reading to find out the truth. That's how I eventually came to realize the greatness of George Orwell, and the relevance of "Animal Farm" and "1984".
World leaders gather in Red Square (modelled on Stalin's Victory Parade, "We're obliged to build a world order based on security & justice", Putin & Bush in front of Lenin's tomb). Telegraph, May 9, 2005. Go to 5.Pyramidal NWO & 2.Big Brother & 35.The Brotherhood
Leaders mourn Soviet war-time dead (Russia's President Vladimir Putin says, "For us victory is the victory of all of us"). BBC, May 9, 2005. Go to 6.Super-States and 12.Ministry of Peace (War) and 7.Systems of Thought
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