Friday, June 19, 2009

A Socialist Model City

Only the New York Times could travel to the former GDR (East Germany) and nostalgically recall a "socialist model city."

Nostalgia for the past -- especially childhood -- is normal. But the past of East Germany is anything but normal. Its long nightmare of secret police, shoddy consumer products, and mind-numbing bureaucracy should have overwhelmed this kind of uncritical navel-gazing.

For history without rose-colored glasses, check out the BBC report "Inside the Stasi's Dungeons." The BBC reminds us that, "The GDR imposed its will through the feared secret police, the Stasi, with dissidents being imprisoned and tortured for such "crimes" as trying to leave the country, or telling political jokes."

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