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"Das Zentrum unserer Hauptstadt, der Lustgarten und das Gebiet der jetztigen Schlossruine, müssen zu dem großen Demonstrationsplatz werden, auf dem der Kampfeswille und Aufbauwille unseres Volkes Ausdruck finden"

Walter Ulbricht
Generalsekretär der SED, 1950
Glückwunsch ihr habt es wirklich geschaft, Respekt :sleepy:


"So ist mein Gewissen beruhigt. Jetzt schreien alle, und wenn das Schloss weg ist, kräht kein Hahn mehr danach."

Otto Grotewohl
DDR-Ministerpräsident (SED), 1950
Mein Gewissen ist nun auch beruhigt zu wissen dass der gute Mann unrecht hatte. Schade eigentlich das der Palast nicht gesprengt werden darf!!!
 

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Da auch die DDR vergleichsweise friedlich und geordnet abgetreten ist, vielmehr sich selbst abgebaut und aufgelöst hat, ist das Ende mit der Dekonstruktion doch auch irgendwie passend, und ziemlich Deutsch noch obendrein.


Wenn die Deutschen Revolution machen und einen Bahnhof besetzten, so würden sie vorher Fahrkarten lösen, damit auch alles seine Ordnung hat.

So (oder so ähnlich) Wladimir I. Lenin
 

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Hello...

I have always been a fan of the Palast der Republik in the former East German capital of East Berlin. The building was the parliamentary, cultural, and international symbol for the DDR. Now we have seen today after 16 years of reunification the building stands derelict mostly and is not living up to its full potential. Some of the protests against the Palast is that it reminds Germans of a "bad era" in their history, but those who claim that want to rebuild the imperial palace which once stood there prior to its destruction by the East Germans. To me it is ironic that these people complain about a state which was politically repressive, but peaceful and want to rebuild the symbol and seat of German aggressiveness and imperialism. Now to the design, I am not a expert in design so it is pretentious of me to talk about my opinions on design but I am a fan of the internationalist style that the Palast gives us. Its sleek lines, and golden exterior was a real contrast to the socialist styles of the 1970's which was mass produced and down right ugly (overly functionalist). The Palast gave all East Germans a place where they could be proud of who they are as a people, a socialist people whose state relative to the rest of the socialist bloc was a success, a state where Marx would have wanted the real communist revolution to occur. The Palast represented these ideals, to be sure in 2006 these ideals are not seen in a positive light by many but they still have validity in an era of increasing neo-liberalism and globalization. The Palast was built in 1976 at the apex of the social investment states all around the world, and it harks back to an era where people felt more secure not only about their lives, but the world. It would serve to show West Germans the history of distinctiveness of the East German character, which was shaped by yes political repression, but also a life of security, and assurance. As Germany restructures economically to fit into the new economic order, and the slow erosion of the German economic model occurs. I think the Palast would remind people of better times, not worse times. The Palast is a buildings for Germans not only East Germans, it is a building which represented the will and aspirations of 17 million people for more then 40 years. What should be done with the building? I think the best thing to do is create a museum of East Germany history, the good and the bad. To bring all Germans and people of the world into recognition of a state which no longer exists but still serves as an example of relatively successful socialism, and the failure of the socialist world to offer a real alternative to the capitalist world.


http://www1.ndr.de/container/ndr_style_images_default/0,2299,OID440748,00.jpg

http://www.danielrieck.de/c9guy/palast.jpg
 

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The Palast sucks, end of story. It didn't even have any particular significance since the East German parliament had no say in anything.

So let's build something truly beautiful instead. And the Hohenzollerns were about more than imperialism and militarism.
 

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I understand y you would say the Palast sucks, many people do not like the international style of design. But I don't think it sucks, I think unlike a uber expensive and useless castle in the middle of Berlin the Palast can serve a purpose and has more relevance to the German people then a relic of a shamed past. The Palast was designed for praticality and for change. I think it is a beautiful building as seen in these shots:

http://www.ddr-alltagskultur.com/palastffdabei.jpg
http://homepages.compuserve.de/HAHUKORKI/images/pdr.jpg
http://www.tu-berlin.de/presse/tui/96nov/gif/kubus.gif

Also East Germans have had too much of their hertiage being destroyed and mocked at, keeping the Palast and revitalizing it would do much to heal East West divisions in Germany.
 

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Theres is nothing like an East German heritage, unless you mean an economey that is in ruins. Everything in the GDR was designed to fit the oppression of civil liberties in a one-party dictatorship.

As to the Palast der Republik: it's a good thing this ugly lump is finally dismantled.
 

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I have read many scholarly articles on the economy and life of East Germany, in addition I know East Germans. Yes one cannot deny the political aspect of East Germany was not favorable, but East Germans lived as well as the English in terms of GDP and had a economy relative to the rest of the Socialist world which was much more productive with a shrinking population! East Germans in terms of Purchasing power had more power then West Germans when it came to housing, basic food stuffs, and utilities. The difference came in with luxuries where the West Germans had more power and obviously better quality. The East Germans I have talked to have said that things are much less secure now, many (not all of them) like it the way it was economically under the East German regime, and unemployment is very high in the East…so it is really better when you have no work. Is it really better when the West pumped in $1 trillion since unification and the situation is still dire in the East relative to the West? I wouldn't say capitalism proven much better.
 

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Well, if you had seen the housing, tasted the food and beverages and enjoyed the "utilities - if there were any" in the GDR, you would understand why GDR "citizen" had more purchasing power than the West - because you can get CRAP for free. Lets not even talk about the environment, basic freedoms (e.g. travel restrictions), technology, the discrimination and marginalization of religion, entertainment, media etc...
Moreover, you should not trust the economic statistics published by the GDR.

An unemployed person in Eastern Germany today is economically better off than an average person employed in the GDR.

Today, the situation in Eastern Germany is not at all "dire" - even relative to the West. Just go there and see it yourself: Dresden has become a "silicon valley", Leipzig has become a major transport and car industry hub, Jena is known for its many small, innovative research based companies etc.. Moreover, you cannot really compare unemployment rates in the East with those in the West, as total employment rates in the East are a lot higher. Hence, if all the housewifes and mothers in Western Germany - whose complements in the East were forced to work - registered themselfes as unemployed, unemployment would also be a lot higher in the West.

... and by the way: The "Palast der Republik" is an insult to all those who fought and suffered for freedom in the GDR. It does not in any way reflect the will and aspirations of the Eastern Germans - if you want to find the will of the Eastern Germans, go back to the "Monday demonstrations" in Leipzig where people shouted: We are the people! - that contrasted the hypocrisy of GDR elections, where the ruling party always received 99% of the votes.

You do not know how much suffering and frustration the SED and its secret service has brought to our country!

Berlin needs its historical center back - not because the Hohenzollern were so great - but because of esthetical reasons.
 

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Don't fool yourself - this is German heritage:

Frauenkirche Dresden:


Martin Luther Dresden:


Goethe und Schiller in Weimar:


Meissen - cathedral and castle:


Bauhaus Dessau:


Wartburg Eisenach:


Ahlbeck - Usedom:


Schwerin:


These are examples of GDR architecture:










Examples of post-reunification architecture (in addition to the thousands of buildings, churches, castles, palaces that have been renovated):
Leipzig Messe:


Cottbus:


Dresden:




Jena:


Magdeburg:


Heringsdorf -Usedom:
 

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Yes the quality of the goods were lower, but still were higher then the rest of the socialist world, and comparable to the lower end of the developed states of Europe, Latin America, and Asia (South Korea, Spain, Argentina) and life in East Germany was better then in some areas of Thatcher's Britain or Reagan's America (neo-liberal revolution) where that political freedom existed but with a truly marginalized existence with slums (which did not exist in the East), high crime rates (which did not exist in the East), etc. Is this a better existence? Are these people's views actually listened to? No of course not, and the riots in France showed as well that the poor in our oh so free and just society aren't exactly agreeing with the illusion we present ourselves.

I am not a communist, nor am I saying that East Germany was the best thing that ever happened, far from. I have already agreed that the political situation in East Germany was not conducive to human liberty that communism espoused (again no state in anyway was communist). What I am saying is that we demonize it so much in our society that we get clouded to what good was created in East Germany. The people I've talked to who lived in East Germany tell me that family life was more important, there was a real sense of community because basically everyone was German, and they knew for sure where they would get their next pay cheque or meal, can we really say the same thing for the poorer people in our rich and free countries?

Moreover, you should not trust the economic statistics published by the GDR.

I am not depending on them, I am looking at the PWT and the UN. There is no question the DDR pump up the numbers like all states in the socialist bloc, but again it was better off then the rest of the states in the bloc and most in the capitalist world.

An unemployed person in Eastern Germany today is economically better off than an average person employed in the GDR.

Wal-Mart employees with no insurance coverage in the US, making $12,000 a year when the median income of the companies revenue divided by all its employess is over $100,000? Did u even see those thousands of Americans after the disaster of Katrina? About East Germans themselves, is it better to be unemployed and disgraced living off the handouts of the state, or have some self-respect and make money on your merit? What is the psychological impact of unemployment, not pretty. I am not sure people in the East are really better off considering the rise of slums, and crime offsetting imo any perceived increase in the standard of living and the degrading nature of unemployment leading to the rise of ultra right wing politicos in the East. So no people imo are not much better off when they are no longer self-respected persons.

Today, the situation in Eastern Germany is not at all "dire" - even relative to the West. Just go there and see it yourself: Dresden has become a "silicon valley", Leipzig has become a major transport and car industry hub, Jena is known for its many small, innovative research based companies etc..

A documentary I saw on East Germany shows that indeed the East has become a place where this tech boom happened, but no one is hiring bc much of the work is being done by robots, what an insult to these ppl. The lovely illusion of progress you present is enticing but I am not buying.

"Palast der Republik" is an insult to all those who fought and suffered for freedom in the GDR. It does not in any way reflect the will and aspirations of the Eastern Germans - if you want to find the will of the Eastern Germans, go back to the "Monday demonstrations" in Leipzig where people shouted: We are the people!

I say unemployment is the greatest insult to the pride and self- worth of millions of those people, those people who protested today probably ask themselves if it was really worth it. I know people who really wonder, their Eastern culture being degraded by Western Germans as inferior and nothing compared to the West "success". The destruction of the Palast would only reinforce that sense of worthlessness where East German monuments which are denounced because they run against West German sensibilities. Also if its such an insult why does the East German states keep on support the socialists in elections, and why do many support the existence of the Palast? The idealism of 1989-90 is over…the reality as people now see is not what they expected.

Berlin needs its historical center back - not because the Hohenzollern were so great - but because of esthetical reasons.

I disagree, Berlin needs to preserve all of its history and eras for preservation of the countries history for future generations, I don't see what another imperial monster in the middle of the city which would look totally out of place with the TV tower, and would cost billions of dollars not neither the Berlin government or the German government can afford to pay…the Palast is just as much part of German history as some outgrown and self aggrandized castle of the rich aristocracy which ended up killing millions of German men for their quest for international glory…but yes Honecker was so much worse.

About DDR architecture:

Where did I defend all of East German architecture? I even said in prior posts that it was mostly ugly, but y destroy was descent (imo beautiful) about it?
 

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nicouru said:
East Germans in terms of Purchasing power had more power then West Germans when it came to housing, basic food stuffs, and utilities. The difference came in with luxuries where the West Germans had more power and obviously better quality.
I don't consider clean water and air, fruits, vegetables, a home without holes in the roof, a phone, a car, tarmac roads, a color TV, a personal computer and traveling to other countries to be outright luxuries but pretty basic stuff. All of these things were short in supply for East Germans. And you can forget all those GDP statistics from the Soviet era, they were forged. Most of East Germany basically looked like the Red Army had just rampaged through it - in the year 1989 though.
 

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I think we are taking it a bit far here, 90%+ of East German households had TV's (as it served the purpose of the state), most had phones, they all adequate had homes, good child care services. Do we have clean air here in the West? Do we have clean water here in the West? A personal computer in 1988 was rare in the West let alone East Germany so that a ridiculous point to make, cars is that really progress considering the pollution, noise pollution, deaths, etc. When a good public transit system could do the job in a more efficient way. Sorry Im not buying the Western propaganda.
 

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nicouru said:
I think we are taking it a bit far here, 90%+ of East German households had TV's
A color TV did cost more than 8000 Mark in East Germany. Only very few were able to afford one.,

most had phones
Most of the phone lines in East Germany were from before WW2. And the few who had the luck to have phones (in urban areas) couldn't often place calls or be called because they shared a single line with all others living in the same house. Often phone lines could also only be used after from 6pm - 8am because the lines were used by companies during day time.

they all adequate had homes
Man, I was in Dresen, Leipzig and Erfurt in 1989 with my school class. The homes were literally falling apart. Roofs with holes, and sewage leeks were omnipresent. It was stinking in every street. The air was so full of coal smoke that all houses were dark gray.


Do we have clean air here in the West? Do we have clean water here in the West?
Absolutely! You have some strange phantasies about how it was in East Germany. As I said before the air was so full of coal dust and smoke that everything aquired a dark gray color within days. The GDR didn't have any ecological standards whatsoever. They poluted air and water without end. They had above ground uranium mines with no protection measures where people where dying from lung cancer. And many more.


A personal computer in 1988 was rare in the West
Nonsense. Almost every boy had a personal computer in West Germany in 1988. And those who didn't did at least have a video game console.
 

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Learn German and watch this TV report from 1989: http://www.bpb.de/popup/popup_video.html?guid=HCIB6I&text=1

I am not in the mood to translate it all for you. Only so much: housing was shit, medical support was shit, people were sick from pollution. In every city they had a few selected streets which were cleaned and kept in a good state for western tourists (I can confirm that because we left the guided tour once in Erfurt and while the fascades of the homes were good on the front they were physically breaking apart on the back side, Potemkin-style).
 
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