Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Guides try their best to recreate the odd world behind the Wall. "Safari" guests are subjected to traffic checks by men dressed as officers of the former East German police force. A now they are also forced to exchange their euros for East German marks, which they can spend on such classic Socialist fare such as "Solyanka," a Russian soup, or an Eastern European version of ragoût fin.

But are businesses like this trivializing East German history?
No, they are trivializing East Germans, and trivializing their accomplishments. Worst still, the Soljanka he’s talking about is hard to find and awful. Newsflash, Wessie exploiter: ketchup is not Tomatenmark.

That aside, Frank Hornig’s article in Spiegel’s online English edition has provoked me to think about the eternal vacuity that seems to accompany the Art School black “fake seriousness” in Berliners’ discussion of Berlin’s history.
Thus the Wall, which the East Germans had officially dubbed an anti-fascist protective barrier, finally became a wall in people's minds, an imaginary place that various players from the federal and state governments now seek to occupy. Some prefer to emphasize the victory of freedom and the market economy, while others would rather draw attention to the policy of détente and the East German civil rights movement.
With all of their usual self-absorption and “unseriousness”, how could a trivialized history of the Berlin wall become that “wall in the mind?”

The context he’s now using the stale term seems to be limited to the mind merely capturing images of it, if not a few memories of it.

At least he isn’t pretending to play pop psychologist, as one would find almost universal to the usual dragging out of the “wall of the mind” phrase.