My Beers in the GDR, Part Three: Yes, there was lots of beer in East Germany
Previously: My Beers in the GDR, Part Two: Sharing a few Pilsners with a future war criminal. “Germans absolutely cannot live without sausage and beer.” –Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (1958) The Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, only three months after I viewed it for the final time from the vantage point of the barrier’s spotless East Berlin side, where it was immaculately maintained. Conversely, viewed from West Berlin the Wall looked like a winding artist’s canvas intended for adaptive reuse. It was painted, carved, Super-Glued and draped with multiple layers of graffiti. West Berliners paused occasionally to mock the Wall before returning to their vibrant, pulsating exceptionalism. East Berliners joked about confinement, too, in a black, wry way, and not loudly. The humorless high priests presiding over mankind’s various belief systems, most of them bogus, never seem to appreciate satire. The German Democratic Republic’s elderly politburo was no exception. It’s been so long since there were two German states side by side that today, in 2022, you’d have to be somewhere around 40 years old to have any active memory of the period of the country’s division, when a maze of walls and fences separated the two halves. Let’s quickly review, befor ......Read more