The Girl From East Berlin

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Since then, the influx of over a million asylum seekers -- mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan -- has fuelled the rise of the far-right, anti-Islam AfD party. High-profile crimes involving migrants have sparked angry protests in recent years. A year-old German man was last month charged with attempted murder after he drove his car into groups of foreigners in the cities of Bottrop and Essen. Eight people were injured in the rampage, including a 4-year-old Afghan boy and his mother as well as a year-old Syrian girl.

Little Girl IN East Berlin Stock Photos -

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Punks served longer jail sentences than any activist group in the 70s and 80s, and they were also blacklisted from jobs, having to take work as gravediggers or hospital waste operators. Punk musicians defied the state to make art and were banned from public spaces in They paid with their bodies to bring down the dictatorship.

(ebook) Girl from East Berlin

East German punks also laid the blueprint for future subcultures and social movements like squatting. But there were punks and not just a few of them.

The division of East and West Germany

So I wanted to contradict the state and show that the punk movement existed in the GDR. The Stasi would try and recruit minors in the punk scene to inform on their friends.


The idea for the book, which Mohr says has been 25 to 30 years in the making, came to him while he was living in Berlin in the early 90s and working as a DJ. During the dictatorship, Boehlke kept a stash of lyric scraps and photographs in a false drawer bottom, and this set Mohr off down the rabbit hole of discovery. While many activist groups during the period took a reformist approach to their fight, the punks wanted to fuck the system and destroy it. For someone from West Germany, it was almost impossible to understand what they were bringing upon themselves, but these kids came back out of jail and went right back out there to fight.

So basically that showed to other opposition-led people that it was possible to resist and survive. And that was a game-changing revelation. Around , after the first generation of punks had served their initial jail sentences, the punks started to move out into the streets, joining the mass demonstrations that eventually helped to bring down the dictatorship.

Stasi records from the time prove just how inflammatory the punk scene was to the dictatorship. On the eve of the revolution in , Stasi records identify a group called the Church from Below — who were, in spite of their name, an atheist anarcho-punk collective — as the most threatening activist group in the country. In January , another Stasi report identified punk as the single-biggest youth problem, basing their findings on the national communications network that the punks had managed to build up by that time.

When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, — 30 years ago this week — the punks realised that their music and messages would have to change, so they largely stopped making music.