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Old July 19th, 2009, 07:11 AM   #221
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Some young Eastern Europeans seem to miss Communism much (maybe from what they've been told from their nostalgic parents?) Ever got the taste of how is it like?
Maybe from their nostalgic parents...
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Old July 19th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #222
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I rather have a grand historic building than a bland modern building anytime.
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You are right, but modern buildings are not necessarily ugly...
and all "modern" buildings will become "historic" logically, look New York City where Chrysler Tower and the Empire State will have 80 years in the next two years.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #223
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I just want you to know that I am a Ph.D student in one of the top 20 schools in the world...so uneducated?
OK, so you're not uneducated but you clearly have an agenda which is blinding your intelligence here.

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1) The Reich was at the heart of inter-imperialist rivalries of the early 20th century that directly led to WWI.
All empires of Europe are to blame for WWI. For quite a while Wilhelm II tried to avert war but the rather retarded alliance with Austria forced his hand eventually.

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2) The Palace, as the effective seat of the Prussian government, was the nexus of the terror that spread throughout Europe, i.e. Chemical warfare, institutionalized racism, rape, etc.
All sides used chemical weapons. And are you telling me that the "armies of democracy" were any less racist? Even during WW2 black/African soldiers were treated like crap by the US and French forces.

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3) The ideology of the Reich, in part, helped lead to the Nazi terror of the WWII.
Hitler was an Austrian, the capital of his "movement" was Munich. You're creating links here that have little to nothing to do with the actual building.

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The DDRs record, compared to the Reich, is more than tolerable.
See the post below. It locked up its own people, killed political prisoners, made it impossible for critical voices to do or accomplish anything within the country, it participated in aggressions against its neighbor...but yeah, like all Socialist countries it tried to project an image of brotherhood of all peoples which is why you sometimes saw black people on the street or on official posters (interestingly enough that part of Germany is now by far the most racist one, so I guess the imperialist Wessis must have done something right between 1949-90).

Fact of the matter is that I prefer the castle because I think it's a more beautiful building. The PdR's political background doesn't really matter to me until people start blaming the Prussian palace for war crimes.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #224
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Unfortunately, for you this obviously never was a discussion.
Exactly. I have my opinion and I will stick to it. That's why these debates are fairly pointless, especially when people who admire the GDR are entering them. I mean seriously...did the Kaiserreich lock up its own people? Did it kill political prisoners on a grand scale? The GDR was a horrific regime which btw took parts in wars of aggression as well. So no bowling alley can hide that.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #225
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OK, so you're not uneducated but you clearly have an agenda which is blinding your intelligence here.

Huh? Firstly, it is impossible for a human being who is communicating with another human being to be devoid of a opinion, or what you derisively call an 'agenda'. If anything, I have pretty much undone all of your ideological arguments, i.e. "DDR bad har har". Secondly, all of your 'points' relating to the DDR have been throughly criticized. My intelligence brings me to the conclusions I have, not visa versa.

All empires of Europe are to blame for WWI. For quite a while Wilhelm II tried to avert war but the rather retarded alliance with Austria forced his hand eventually.

Some more than others certainly, and German once in the war was more than wiling to violate international law, create a proto-lebensraum in Eastern Europe with the Treaty of Brest-Livtosk--something that certainly inspired Hitler. If the Reich was merely looking for peace and not war, I do not think the Kaiser would have had such grand plans for a future German hegemon in Western and Eastern Europe, wiping whole states off the map. Ironically, it was the Reich that facilitated the transit of Lenin to Russia.

All sides used chemical weapons. And are you telling me that the "armies of democracy" were any less racist? Even during WW2 black/African soldiers were treated like crap by the US and French forces.

Who started the slide towards barbarism? Germany, she was the one who first used chemical weapons against allied troops. In addition, to my knowledge, the allied forces, in the West at least, did not engage in institutionalized rape, theft, and dispossession as the Germans did in Belgium. About racism, Germany's actions in Africa were among the most barbaric of any European power.

Hitler was an Austrian, the capital of his "movement" was Munich. You're creating links here that have little to nothing to do with the actual building.

Hitler was a soldier in the German army, fighting for the Reich and felt it was betrayed by "Judeo-Bolsheviks". Hitler, in part, was inspired by Bismark and the Prussian notion of Germanization and the superiority of the German people. To my knowledge, Munich is in Germany so I do not know why you are treating it as if it were a foreign city. The building represents that dark period in German history, do you understand the notion of metaphor, representation? You obviously do b/c you have little problem associating the crime of the DDR regime with the Palast, but seem to deviate from that logic once you talk about the Palace.

It locked up its own people (Rosa Luxemburg), killed political prisoners, made it impossible for critical voices to do or accomplish anything within the country(the Reich was a autocratic 'enlightened' dictatorship, with a nominal legislature), it participated in aggressions against its neighbor..(seriously? Belgium, France, Russia killing millions of people)

You just described the Reich, both of them. The DDR was no paradise, and I would love for you to show where I said or even implied it was. The DDR's aggressions against human rights, international law are marginal compared to what occurred in the Reich. Ergo, if we are talking about which regime is worse it is the Reich in my opinion and thus, I do not think we should be idealizing and glorifying a dark past. I am not saying that we should keep the PdR as a monument to the DDR, however, we should have renovated it so it could represent a reconciled Germany. Now, we have a scar in the middle of Berlin filled with the cancer of the imperial past.

I mean seriously...did the Kaiserreich lock up its own people? Did it kill political prisoners on a grand scale?

Yes and yes. In addition, the invasion of Czechoslovakia was not an act of war, so I do not know what 'wars of aggression' you are talking about.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #226
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Justme

I answered your question, and stop bringing up red herrings. You are obviously intellectually unable to carry on this conversation....

... I just want you to know that I am a Ph.D student in one of the top 20 schools in the world...so uneducated? Rather, it is painfully obvious that you are merely projecting your own deficiencies on me.
Well, I am smart enough to know that every attempt at communism in world history has failed and resulted in a murderous dictatorship.

Now, let me give you some real life history. I have a friend from the DDR. I met her when she was 17 shortly after the fall of the wall and she told me this story of her family.

A short while after she was born, her father was arrested by the police. You see, a neighbour had noticed an English language book in their house. It was a novel, if I remember correctly. But the simple fact it was English was enough in those dark days to be arrested.

She never saw her father once as she was only a baby when he was taken away. As she grew up, she and her family members would write countless letters to him, hoping that he read them and hoping to get a reply but she never did. He did recieve some of them though.

What happened to him was horrible to say the least. You see, he was locked up in the basement of the building across the street. In the basement of the neighbour who called the police. If the DDR government could think of a more horrible torture, I don't know. He could just look out a small slit in the boards that blocked the tiny window near the ceiling, and for nearly 17years he watched his daughter growing up. He was told if he tried to call out, they would torture is wife and children, so for nearly 17 years he suffered in the most horrible way.

At the fall of the DDR, he was of course released and reunited with his family.

Today, the Eastern part of Germany is a free land. Maybe you wish a return to those horrors, and quite frankly if you do, your Ph.D won't be worth a grain of salt in my eyes. But I certainly hope you grow out of these delusions with the past.

As for claiming my dislike for the Palace of the Republic is based on this horrible history, you are quite incorrect. I have nothing against buildings constructed during the communist period, or any other dark period in history, as long as they are aesthetically pleasing. This one isn't. It's just simply ugly.

And in the respect of people like my friend and all she has suffered, I couldn't give a toss about your opinion here, especially if you are going to insult me just like you did.

The building is gone just like communism. Please learn to live with it.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 11:37 PM   #227
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I believe that communism isn't bad...its just that the dictators used this wonderful ideology to feed themselves with power, and this is why Communism always failed to prove itself in a large scale...because the idea of it is wonderful but it always seemed like this type of government fell into the devil's hand. This is why i don't trust communism or socialism anymore.

Nico_Uru : Your pointless comments make me want to cry. Why keeping such an ugly looking building like that? This building represents shame to the USSR. We should destroy all memories from the soviet union since it hasn't brought anything good to us anyway. USSR brought genocides,fear,war,thirst of power,brainwashing,mind control, Bullshit propaganda etc. Go to the metro areas of Moscow, Kiev, Minsk and look for yourself how ugly are those apartments and how ugly and industrialized most of the parts of these cities are which were once beautiful historical cities of the old Kievan Rus' ( all thanks to Communism)
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Old July 19th, 2009, 11:38 PM   #228
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Your point would be relevant if I ever defended the DDR regime as a good regime, I haven't. So again, stop with the red herrings. You consistently misunderstand the thrust of this conversation in your ideological belief in the inherent 'evil' of communism and the DDR. My point, which you seem totally intellectually incapable of understanding is this:

The PdR was torn down as a political act by capital to signal the 'defeat' of socialism and East German identity. In its place, capital-it must be capital, since it is privately financed-is reconstituting a pro-capitalist, pro-hierarchal edifice in the middle of Berlin to denote the victory of the liberal order of the 19th century; thus, the full circle of history, or as Fukuyama calls it the 'End of History' has come to the heart of Berlin, denoting that the deviation of the 20th century is over. However, that edifice also represents a regime that represented one of the most barbarous and uncivilized eras of Europe's history largely instigated by its revisionist aspirations. East Germany was no angelic regime and I never defended it as such. However, the DDR's record is not even close to that of the Reich. In addition, within the context of the Cold War, the DDR's record is not that different and in many cases better than most other capitalist societies, particularly in the developing world. Basically, I think that rebuilding the palace is a regression back to a mentality and an era that should have been left back in 1918 and it highlights that as long as you are 'on the right side of history', i.e. capitalism, liberalism, etc., your transgressions can be overlooked.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 11:46 PM   #229
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The PdR was torn down as a political act by capital to signal the 'defeat' of socialism and East German identity. In its place, capital-it must be capital, since it is privately financed-is reconstituting a pro-capitalist, pro-hierarchal edifice in the middle of Berlin to denote the victory of the liberal order of the 19th century
Lame. WGermany has never attempted to somehow rub the defeat of Communism in the face of Ossis. The PdR was full of asbestos and something had to be done with it. Having a bowling alley in the center of the city wasn't good enough in the eyes of some citizens so they decided to call for the reconstruction of the Prussian palace. Here's to them.

You have to try and leave the 20th century. Communism is non-existant and there is no "capital" which seeks to build memorials to its victory. It's just regular people who want to rebuild or build good looking buildings.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:01 AM   #230
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Lame. WGermany has never attempted to somehow rub the defeat of Communism in the face of Ossis. The PdR was full of asbestos and something had to be done with it. Having a bowling alley in the center of the city wasn't good enough in the eyes of some citizens so they decided to call for the reconstruction of the Prussian palace. Here's to them.

You have to try and leave the 20th century.Communism is non-existant and there is no "capital" which seeks to build memorials to its victory. It's just regular people who want to rebuild or build good looking buildings.
I see you lack a sense of irony, because the two comments you make actually contradict each other and support my point. Since you won't understand it, I will point out how. Your second statement, "You have to try and leave the 20th century." is exactly in contradiction to the first one, "WGermany has never attempted to somehow rub the defeat of Communism in the face of Ossis.". How? You are saying to the 'Ossies' that they were on the wrong side of history and that you won. Ergo, they have to deal with it and now you get to make the rules.

Secondly, the so-called 'common people', do they have billions of dollars to reconstruct the palace do they? Who are these 'common people'? I don't take these terms as is, as if they are self-evident because they clearly are not. In addition, if you don't believe in the existence of capital, then I wonder where investment funds comes from and who makes the decisions as to where those funds should be allocated? If you really think this about aesthetics of the building alone and not about its political significance is the reason behind its demolition, then its a metaphysical divide that we cannot bridge. Thirdly, you assume the PdR had no popular support, it clearly did with the manifestations to save the building and many 'Ossies' were offended by the tone of the discussion surrounding the building. Fourthly, the building was renovated in the sense that all the abestos was taken out and was already being used a a cultural facility so...your point is what?

Also, thank you for agreeing with me about the Reich, I assume your lack of rebuttal is tacit acceptance of its points.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:09 AM   #231
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How? You are saying to the 'Ossies' that they were on the wrong side of history and that you won. Ergo, they have to deal with it and now you get to make the rules.
What? My post simply referred to your Politburoesque comment about "capital" wanting to rebuild the palace in order to show the Ossis who's boss (that rhetoric can also be found on this site). And yes, to some extent "we" (ie the democratic society that Germans are living in these days) do get to make the rules. Parliament voted to rebuild the palace...isn't democracy just awesome?

Quote:
Fourthly, the building was renovated in the sense that all the abestos was taken out and was already being used a a cultural facility so...your point is what?
The PdR was a shell, nothing more. So calling it a "renovation" is laughable to say the least.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:16 AM   #232
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1) The Reich was at the heart of inter-imperialist rivalries of the early 20th century that directly led to WWI.
2) The Palace, as the effective seat of the Prussian government, was the nexus of the terror that spread throughout Europe, i.e. Chemical warfare, institutionalized racism, rape, etc.
3) The ideology of the Reich, in part, helped lead to the Nazi terror of the WWII.
Forgive me as a non-German to butt in on this discussion, and I do understand some of the arguments for keeping the Kulturpalast, but this set of conclusions confuse me a bit.
The Hohenzollerns ruled as Prussian kings from this palace since 1701, correct? and the palace as it is intended to be reconstructed, minus dome was completed by mid-18th century, so why is that building intrinsically linked to WWI? Its seems quite arbitrary what you choose to associate an historic building with. When the French look at Versailles, they dont see absolutism and countless wars, do they? They just think of it as a monument to French culture. That surely is why some Germans want to re-erect the palace not as a momument to intolerance, but to German culture.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:21 AM   #233
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Nico, you are needlessly politicizing this issue. I can guarantee you that rebuilding the Schloss has absolutely nothing to do with glorifying the Prussian regime. Is is a purely aesthetic decision. Berlin is "aesthetically-challenged" in areas, and they are simply trying to make the city nicer on the eyes. The area there by the Dom and Unter den Linden has a nice collection of beautiful pre-war buildings and they simply want to add to that collection to further beautify the area. Regardless of how negative that time period may have been politically, they made pretty buildings back then. Period.

The Palast was butt ugly and I'm glad it's gone. If you cannot detach yourself from politicizing structures, you shouldn't mourn much for the DDR and it's (awful ugly) architectural heritage in Berlin, as there are plenty of vomit-inducing, eyesore communist buildings left in Berlin to admire.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:40 AM   #234
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@nico
btw: Imagelinking without permisson of corbis-pictures is a licence-violation as well as a violation against the exploitation right of the corbis-website (and rightly so) and the result can be a forfeit(money).-even if you left the watermark inside.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #235
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You are a walking, talking contradiction. If you cannot see the contradiction in your response, then I cannot help you. And, what I meant by 'renovation' was that all the asbestos was taken out, you stated that it was asbestos ridden and had to be destroyed. You misrepresent the facts and simply are not consistent in your own arguments.

so why is that building intrinsically linked to WWI? Its seems quite arbitrary what you choose to associate an historic building with.

Because the building was intrinsically linked to the Prussian autocracy as the effective seat of government during WWI and before. I am not associating anything to the building other than what it was meant to represent: it represented the Prussian state and since the Kaiser was the head of state, the building, since it was his residence, represented the end of the line for the responsibility of the deeds of the Reich.

Nico, you are needlessly politicizing this issue.

No, virtually everything is inherently political. I suggest you read the quote in my signature, and to say that something isn't political is the height of the political. I would not be offended by the demolition of the Palast if a new building, representing a new Germany went up, but in my opinion it is political because instead of creating something new they went back to recreate a discredited building and its discredited regime. Symbolism is very important.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:13 AM   #236
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Guys, just let Nico_Urdu talk... It's his problem, not our's! XD
Coming new to skyscrapercity and having (with his 21 posts) nothing better to do here, than argueing and complaining about an actually wonderful project of bringing worldculture together in one place, just behind three reconstructed baroque facades, just says everything... And the way he argues says everything as well. He's got issues...
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:24 AM   #237
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Kamp
it represented the Prussian state and since the Kaiser was the head of state, the building, since it was his residence, represented the end of the line for the responsibility of the deeds of the Reich.
It represented the Prussian state, sure, just like Versailles represented French absolutism, nowadays the two need not represent anything but the accomplishments of German and French culture respectively.
I still dont see why this palace has to be exclusively associated with the decisions that led to WWI. Besides anything, it was built before the time of the Reich.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:48 AM   #238
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Well, when someone quotes Žižek, whose prose is a means of intellectual intimidation that actually says nothing that couldn't be said in a bunch of words, then no wonder he's a sort of backward communist troll in an age when analytic philosophy and neurosciences have gotten rid of all that post-structuralist psychoanalytic marxist-leninist crap that used to be the philosophical fashion in the 70s. Slavoj is basically a revered maverick. We've come a long way since.

Back to architecture, the Palast der Republik was Scheisse, and I'm proud I first signed for the Wiederaufbau of the Hohenzollern Castle back in 1993 during my first trip to Berlin - for what it's worth.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #239
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It represented the Prussian state, sure, just like Versailles represented French absolutism, nowadays the two need not represent anything but the accomplishments of German and French culture respectively. I still dont see why this palace has to be exclusively associated with the decisions that led to WWI. Besides anything, it was built before the time of the Reich.

Because the Palace represents the historical trajectory that led to WWI under the Prussian system of governance and its own pathologies. WWI did not happen in a vacuum, the ideology of the Kaiser and the Reich did not occur in a vacuum, they did not just suddenly emerge; therefore, the Palace represents the political nexus of that historical legacy. Lastly, during WWI the state was a dictatorship under the rule of the Kaiser, and therefore the decisions that led to the disasters of that war occurred in that building. Far more was decided in that Palace than was decided in the PdR, which was basically a rubber-stamp parliament.

I've said my piece on this issue, you know where I stand. The PdR has been demolished, the Palace will be built I cannot change that. However, I think it says a lot of what values modern German society has. All I can say to those who love the new palace is enjoy the glorification of genocide, mass murder, autocracy, atavism, racism and belligerence in the so-called 'new Germany'.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:10 AM   #240
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Read a book about the Prussian history and open your eyes little child..
Prussia was a great state. Without Prussia Germany would have nerver been created, Prussia was key to a Grand Germany. Prussian virtues lead germany and europe into a new age before power crazed guys like Wilhem II and Hitler ruined it!
The palace represent the whole prussian era not only a few years! So i support a reconstruction of the Palace!

PS: Im from Bavaria..
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