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There was a time when Americans cared about the welfare of Germany. No longer.

I was almost surprised to see German news (ZDF "Heute" in my case) make mention of the 17 June event.

I was arrested by the East Berlin Police on June 17, 1965 while I took a picture of the Brandenburg Gate. That was forbidden as it was also a military listening post. After being "interviewed" by various military and secret police types, including Soviet Intelligence, I was returned back to West Berlin.

Until the fall of the Eastern Block, I was not allowed into even Czechoslovakia.

I last visted Berlin in 1990 to celebrate Tag der Deutsche Einheit and to thumb my nose at the last vestiges of the communist apparachiks.

No visa needed, I just crossed over near the Reichstag where workmen had been knocking down the wall. I took a maul and knocked off a few pieces for myself.

After walking around in the eastern side for 8 hours, I returned to my pension, stopping for a drink at a Kneipe near the KuDamm. The barman was sitting with a few folks having a typical intellectual discussion. When he saw me, he says derisively: "Noch ein Amerikaner - Veh haff no coffee!" I answered in German, telling him that I desired no coffee but would gladly drink a Steinhaeger.

A discussion followed where I was told just how terrible America was. Racist, politically immature, internationally naiive and backward.

Of course we were...that is why we kept Berlin free and ensured German freedom. That is why we kept the idea of a unified Germany while the Germans had for the most part accepted the split, no longer referring to the DDR as the "so-called" German Democratic Republic.

Listening to the modified words of the beginning of Beethoven's 9th played by the combined East West Berlin orcestras under the direction of Leonard Bernstein...Freheit, Freiheit, Freiheit.., I concluded that Berlin would not be worth visiting again. I don't need to have my country critized by someone who has never visited it.

Berliners seem to have forgotten that freedom was dear enough for the United States to protect and value it even if Berliners themselves refused to recognize it.

When the Schroeders and the Greens are ousted and there is a return to a reasonable view of America in Germany, perhaps I will return. As it is I went to Austria last year and am planning another trip in August, but Germany will not see me.

I'll let them fight with France to try and gain more power over the EU. At least in Austria, I can run for governor of Steiermark as a part of our political exchange program.

Eitelkeit und Falsch u. Frechheit fuer ....

The Rebellion in the Rain, TIME called it. Here are the first paragraphs (if anybody subscribes they can add the rest. Jue 29, 1953 issue):

By 7 a.m., the streets of East Berlin were alive with workers who would not work. Barehanded, they gathered in the grey morning rain. They wore the uniforms of their trades—masons in white overalls, carpenters in traditional black corduroy smocks, day laborers and factory hands in hobnailed boots and raveled suits.

Many were youths; some were peasants from outside the city. In mumbling columns that suggested disconnected centipede legs groping for a body, they streamed from all directions toward the center of East Berlin, where the Communist proconsuls rule.

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