Comments on: The Berlin Wall, 1961-1989 History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Wed, 24 Sep 2014 01:35:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: The Revolution will be Tweeted and Facebooked as well as televised. : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Tue, 01 Feb 2011 18:59:37 +0000 [...] a colleague today and we reminisced about how like 1989 it all feels–we hope it’s the Eastern European 1989, not the Tiananmen Square 1989, of [...]

By: Worst. Decade. Ever. : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Wed, 30 Dec 2009 15:18:51 +0000 [...] Dr. Mister and I spent a lot of the past decade saying to ourselves that we’d happily return to the 1990s–if we could take maybe one or two things with us from this decade.  The 2000s were very, very good for us personally, professionally, and financially–but nationally and globally this decade has been pretty craptacular.  Can we rewind to 1999, take a Y2K meltdown for a few months, and then get back to partying like it’s 1989? [...]

By: HistoryMaven Tue, 10 Nov 2009 05:12:08 +0000 Random thoughts:

My late mother cried when I called her to find out how she felt. As a German (and then a West German), the fall of the Wall brought back memories of family members she hadn’t seen for some time. My uncle and his family fled from the Russians as they advanced into Germany at the end of World War II. (The area he lived in is now in Poland.) For all the fears of what a reunited Germany might do, for my German relatives who lived through the War and the subsequent division, the Wall’s fall was, in a strange way, a sort of redemption–they remembered the years before Hitler and the years of Hitler’s dictatorship, so I think theirs is a different timeline, and a reunified Germany is a romanticized redeemed Germany.

Yet. Yet. Yet. November 9th is also the anniversary of: the date of the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the declaration of the Weimar Republic in 1918; the anniversary of the 1923 Munich Beer Hall Putsch; and
the date of Kristallnacht in 1938.

Gloria Steinem said this in 2005 about the Berlin Wall: “It was the first female-style revolution: no violence and we all went shopping. “

By: Historiann Mon, 09 Nov 2009 23:19:50 +0000 Thanks for all of your “Memories. . . !” I feel like I’m in an extended run of Cats. (Kidding! Love you all, and the 80s/early 90s music flashbacks too.)

I’m glad Matt L. brought up Tianenmen Square. That was so exciting, and then so demoralizing. Not all totalitarian regimes were on board with the spirit of ’89. RE: Nikki’s experience taking a U.S. foreign policy course during the fall of 1989: I took an American Revolution in the fall of 1988, and then was thrilled to see the kinds of crowd actions (on a much more massive scale) historians of the Revolution have described as central to the political revolution of 1765-76 on the teevee, only this time in China. I remember thinking how different that generation of Chinese students were compared to my own generation of Regan-era glibertarians. (Of course, I generalize…)

We also have forgotten the overthrow (and execution) of Ceausescu in Romania in December of 1989–that was cool. (Well, the overthrow part; even criminals deserve fair trials, after all–that’s who trials are for!)

By: Nikki Mon, 09 Nov 2009 22:43:42 +0000 I was taking a U.S. foreign policy course that semester–the poor professor had to keep updating and changing the end of the syllabus. At the time I felt sorry for him but now I am thinking that must have been an amazing semester for him to teach.

By: linnen Mon, 09 Nov 2009 20:58:48 +0000 I know I did the HTML correctly. The URL points to a Scottish news report at

By: linnen Mon, 09 Nov 2009 20:56:11 +0000 only slightly OT – a veteran’s organization in Scotland ran a survey and found that “one in 20 UK schoolchildren thought Adolf Hitler was a coach of the German football team, while one in six youngsters said they thought Auschwitz was a Second World War theme park.”

By: Oroboros Mon, 09 Nov 2009 20:42:21 +0000 I always liked 99 Balloons. Another song that I associate with the last days of the Cold War is Mad World by Tears for Fears.

But I also give Roger Waters props for The Fletcher Memorial Home too:

Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere
and build them a home
a little place of their own
the Fletcher memorial
home for incurable
tyrants and kings

They can appear to themselves every day
on closed circuit T.V.
to make sure they’re still real
it’s the only connection they feel

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Reagan and Haig
Mr. Begin and friend Mrs. Thatcher and Paisley
Mr. Brezhnev and party
the ghost of McCarthy
the memories of Nixon
and now adding colour a group of anonymous Latin
American meat packing glitterati

did they expect us to treat them with any respect…?

I definitely recall watching Red Dawn in the theater when it came out and it did a good job instilling some fear. By that point my dad already had a comprehensive plan to survive a limited nuclear war and I imagine he saw the movie as helping get the kids on board even. He was also a huge fan of Star Wars (the missile shield) as being the only thing that would finally keep us safe from the Red Threat.

Which also reminds me – I saw The Men Who Stare at Goats yesterday and a couple flashbacks are set in the Cold War era. They allude to Reagan favoring the New Earth Army program because of its use of the term Jedi, for example.

By: Fratguy Mon, 09 Nov 2009 19:49:02 +0000 I think the film credits for a deplorable cinematic decade must certainly include “Rocky IV, the next world war” to say nothing of Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy in “War Games” (Joshua is my computer password whenever I can get away with it).

By: PoliSci Prof Mon, 09 Nov 2009 19:33:34 +0000 I find it interesting how dependent we are on technology for instaneous images of history in the making. In November, 1989, was in Ecuador undertaking my dissertation research. It was really frustrating because I didn’t have a television set! I knew that the world was changing but I could’t watch it happen.

Ecuador’s newspapers did not have front page pictures of the wall coming down. Instead, they showed pictures of East Germans with grocery carts full of bananas in West Berlin grocery stores. Free world to Ecuadorians meant more markets for their most important export….