We Were the People : Voices from East Germany's Revolutionary Autumn of 1989

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9780822312949: We Were the People : Voices from East Germany's Revolutionary Autumn of 1989
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On the night of November 9, 1989, an electrified world watched as the Berlin Wall came down. Communism was dead, the Cold War was over, and freedom was on the rise—or so it seemed. We Were the People tells the story behind this momentous event. In an extraordinary series of interviews, the key actors in the drama that transformed East Germany speak for themselves, describing what they did, what happened and why, and what it has meant to them. The result is a powerful firsthand account of a rare historical moment, one that reverberates far beyond the toppled wall that once divided Germany and the world.
The drama We Were the People recreates is remarkable for its richness and complexity. Here are citizens organizing despite threats of bloody crackdowns; party functionaries desperately trying to survive as time-honored political prerogatives crumble beneath their feet; an oppressed people discovering the possibilities of power and freedom, but also the sobering strangeness of new political realities. With their success, East Germans encountered the overpowering might of thie Western neighbor--and stand perplexed before the onslaught of real estate agents, glossy consumer ads, political professionalism--and the discovery that a lifetime of social experience has suddenly lost all usable context. They became, in the words of one participant, a people "without biography."
Over all the recent events and unlikely turns recounted here, one thing remains paramount: the sweep of the initial democratic conception that animated the East German revolution. We Were the People brings this movement to life in all its drama and detail, and vividly recovers a historic moment that altered forever the shape of modern Europe.

Some Voices of the People
Bärbel Bohley/ "Mother of the Revolution"
Rainer Eppelmann/ Protestant Pastor
Klaus Kaden/ Church Emissary to the Opposition
Hans Modrow/ Former Communist Prime Minister
Ludwig Mehlhorn/ Opposition Theorist
Ingrid Köppe/ Opposition Representative
Frank Eigenfeld/ New Forum
Harald Wagner/ Democracy Now
Sebastian Pflugbeil/ Democratic Strategist
East German Workers
Cornelia Matzke/ Independent Women's Alliance
André Brie/ Party Vice-Chairman
Gerhard Ruden/ Environmental Activist
Werner Bramke/ Party Academic

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From Library Journal:

Through a series of lengthy interviews with members of East Germany's "civic movement" (a collection of opposition groups, like New Forum and Democracy Now; workers; academics; church activists; and party leaders), Philipsen presents a sobering account of a brief "revolutionary moment" that lost its momentum. In the pre-revolutionary section, the interviews refute the popular notion that the 1989 revolution was a spontaneous happening, and Philipsen provides historical perspective on the development of democratic movements in East Germany. The exhilaration of the revolution's success is vividly recounted, but a mood of resignation quickly emerges in the book's post-revolutionary section as East Germans confront the problems of reunification, including social disintegration, severe economic consequences, and a loss of national identity. With Europe trying to redefine itself, this eloquent book makes a serious contribution to the political dialog. Recommended for most academic libraries.
- Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

"This highly successful oral history is enriched by meticulous and intelligent notes and enlightening introductions. . . . [Philipsen] has collected revealing texts that challenge any simple notion about the inevitable victory of Western institutions or mores."
--Foreign Affairs

"An enticing work whose express purpose is to preserve the history of the revolutionary activities which overthrew the Stalinist regime of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany or GDR). . . . This collection of interviews conducted during the extraordinary events of late 1989 allows the reader insight into the feelings and thought of a wide range of GDR citizens. . . . [This is] an invaluable historical source book."
--William A. Pelz," New Politics"

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9780822312826: We Were the People: Voices from East Germany’s Revolutionary Autumn of 1989

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the night of November 9, 1989, an electrified world watched as the Berlin Wall came down. Communism was dead, the Cold War was over, and freedom was on the rise-or so it seemed. We Were the People tells the story behind this momentous event. In an extraordinary series of interviews, the key actors in the drama that transformed East Germany speak for themselves, describing what they did, what happened and why, and what it has meant to them. The result is a powerful firsthand account of a rare historical moment, one that reverberates far beyond the toppled wall that once divided Germany and the world. The drama We Were the People recreates is remarkable for its richness and complexity. Here are citizens organizing despite threats of bloody crackdowns; party functionaries desperately trying to survive as time-honored political prerogatives crumble beneath their feet; an oppressed people discovering the possibilities of power and freedom, but also the sobering strangeness of new political realities. With their success, East Germans encountered the overpowering might of thie Western neighbor--and stand perplexed before the onslaught of real estate agents, glossy consumer ads, political professionalism--and the discovery that a lifetime of social experience has suddenly lost all usable context. They became, in the words of one participant, a people without biography. Over all the recent events and unlikely turns recounted here, one thing remains paramount: the sweep of the initial democratic conception that animated the East German revolution. We Were the People brings this movement to life in all its drama and detail, and vividly recovers a historic moment that altered forever the shape of modern Europe.Some Voices of the People Barbel Bohley/ Mother of the Revolution Rainer Eppelmann/ Protestant Pastor Klaus Kaden/ Church Emissary to the Opposition Hans Modrow/ Former Communist Prime Minister Ludwig Mehlhorn/ Opposition Theorist Ingrid Koeppe/ Opposition Representative Frank Eigenfeld/ New Forum Harald Wagner/ Democracy Now Sebastian Pflugbeil/ Democratic Strategist East German Workers Cornelia Matzke/ Independent Women s Alliance Andre Brie/ Party Vice-Chairman Gerhard Ruden/ Environmental Activist Werner Bramke/ Party Academic. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822312949

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the night of November 9, 1989, an electrified world watched as the Berlin Wall came down. Communism was dead, the Cold War was over, and freedom was on the rise-or so it seemed. We Were the People tells the story behind this momentous event. In an extraordinary series of interviews, the key actors in the drama that transformed East Germany speak for themselves, describing what they did, what happened and why, and what it has meant to them. The result is a powerful firsthand account of a rare historical moment, one that reverberates far beyond the toppled wall that once divided Germany and the world. The drama We Were the People recreates is remarkable for its richness and complexity. Here are citizens organizing despite threats of bloody crackdowns; party functionaries desperately trying to survive as time-honored political prerogatives crumble beneath their feet; an oppressed people discovering the possibilities of power and freedom, but also the sobering strangeness of new political realities. With their success, East Germans encountered the overpowering might of thie Western neighbor--and stand perplexed before the onslaught of real estate agents, glossy consumer ads, political professionalism--and the discovery that a lifetime of social experience has suddenly lost all usable context. They became, in the words of one participant, a people without biography. Over all the recent events and unlikely turns recounted here, one thing remains paramount: the sweep of the initial democratic conception that animated the East German revolution. We Were the People brings this movement to life in all its drama and detail, and vividly recovers a historic moment that altered forever the shape of modern Europe.Some Voices of the People Barbel Bohley/ Mother of the Revolution Rainer Eppelmann/ Protestant Pastor Klaus Kaden/ Church Emissary to the Opposition Hans Modrow/ Former Communist Prime Minister Ludwig Mehlhorn/ Opposition Theorist Ingrid Koeppe/ Opposition Representative Frank Eigenfeld/ New Forum Harald Wagner/ Democracy Now Sebastian Pflugbeil/ Democratic Strategist East German Workers Cornelia Matzke/ Independent Women s Alliance Andre Brie/ Party Vice-Chairman Gerhard Ruden/ Environmental Activist Werner Bramke/ Party Academic. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822312949

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