June 27, 2005

SPD-PDS Berlin Gov't Tearing Down Wall Memorial (tip to Medienkritik)

The Berlin Wall memorial stands as a monument to the many who died attempting to cross the wall and flee the tyranny of the Stasi and East german communism. Unfortunately, the current Berlin government is composed of a coalition between the Social Democratic Party and the Party of Democratic Socialism that together seek to tear down the monument.

They argue that the memorial is too much like Disneyland, though that's an absurd argument given the rows of over 1,000 crosses. It's more like a graveyard than an amusement park. They also argue that the Berlin Wall memorial is too similar to the Holocaust Memorial at Brandenburg Gate (also in Berlin) that the berlin Wall should not be equated with the Holocaust and the Third Reich.

No doubt one of the main motivations here is that the PDS was the ruling East german Communist Party during the Soviet era and institutionally they were the ones who pushed for creating and maintaining the wall. No wonder they don't want to be reminded about those killed attempting escape.

In pricniple moving or demolishing a memorial isn't attacking it so long as respect for the intent of the memorial is clear. If they wanted to move it somewhere else or change it then they would say so. As it is they seem to be acting like the Japanese right-wing acts toward the Rape of nanking - forgive, forget, move on, play dumb.

The Berlin Wall was a symbolic and imposing evil that was a wonderful metaphor for the entire Cold War. It's not something that should be forgotten or downplayed. Whatever happened to the Germans feeling collective guilt for past wrongs? Seems like the left-wing needs to be reminded of it more than the right-wing (for now).


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