Rocking the Wall. Bruce Springsteen: The Berlin Concert That Changed the World, now actually goes around the world! We had reviews in papers from Germany to China and, of course, the USA. This is the story the Rolling Stone magazine did today:
And here are some links to the Winnipeg Free Press, the Portuguese paper Publico, the French magazine Les Echos, the Independent Online from South Africa, La Stampa from Italy, Svenska Dagbladet from Sweden, the British BBC, Germany's Der Spiegel, the Chinese CNYes, the China Daily, the Times of Malta, and the Global Post. Also the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and ABC News have covered it.
Naturally, there are some sceptic folks. Did Bruce really bring down the Wall? Well, we don't claim that. What Springsteen did, however, was to play to an enthusiastic crowd of more than 300.000 (and the GDR had only about 16 million people), and behind the Wall, giving them the feeling of freedom, and the experience that they could rebel against orders from above, starting with going to a concert without a ticket and trampling down fences on the way into the concert grounds. And Springsteen spoke against the Wall INSIDE of East Germany, something much more courageous and less heard of than politicians speaking from the West side, using the Wall as a backdrop.
Of course, this was only one event in a whole chain of upheavals in Eastern Europe, acts of rebellion against the Soviets. There was the Polish Solidarnosc movement, people who protested in the Baltics, Romanians, who were standing up to Ceausescu, Hungarians opening the border, in the end ... it was we, the people, moving our feet.
So, what about Ronald Reagan? Reagan asked Gorbachev to tear down the Wall, but in West-Berlin, not in his face. And while you could argue that arming the Afghani resistance against the Soviets helped to dissolve the Soviet empire (you also could argue that arming the Taliban was not such a smart move in the long run), the speech did nothing. And when the Wall fell, it was Reagan's staunch ally Maggie Thatcher who just stopped short of offering troops to Gorbachev to keep Eastern Germany under Soviet occupation.
And what about Hasselhoff? ... Puleeeaase .. I don't even know where that comes from (and neither does anybody else in Germany, for that matter). Hasselhoff did a concert in WEST Berlin months AFTER the Wall fell. He must have a hell of a PR team, though!
by Eva C. Schweitzer