Posted by By J. Eller @SDzzz SandersGuide 2016 YouTube
The source for these report wishes to remain anonymous at this time.
Pt1-Former East German Exposes Socialist Bernie Sanders – Propaganda
Pt2-Former East German Exposes Socialist Bernie Sanders – Authoritarian Socialism and The New Society
Pt3-Former East German Exposes Socialist Bernie Sanders – Gender
Part One – Propaganda
“Listening to Bernie Sanders, I am reminded of the first time I ever heard of him. It was in 1987 and I was visiting the former East German (German Democratic Republic, as it was called) with my college German class. My professors were fluent in German so we had a very in depth tour and had the attention of high level Socialist Party members and government officials during our stay.
They showed us a list of locally elected US officials who they said were on “their” side. They were particularly proud of Bernie Sanders, then Mayor of Burlington VT, because he was actually a Socialist Party member- a member of their own Socialist Party according to them. At the time we didn’t really believe the claim that these Americans were on the side of East Germany at the height of the Cold War, but recently I discovered that Sanders had close dealings with the GDR government during this time and even hosted 10 “social workers” to work in Burlington, studying youth unemployment, in 1985, two years before my visit. (see the workcamp program copies at end)
We were also shown many pictures taken by East Germans in America (including some taken in Burlington by the group welcomed by Sanders) of the most extreme examples of poverty and homelessness in our country. These pictures were represented as examples of everyday life for ordinary Americans. The photographs were used in textbooks. The East German students that we spoke to felt sorry for us, living in such a poverty stricken country, compared to their Socialist paradise. Sadly their own country was no such thing.
Upon arriving in the German Democratic Republic, the first thing I saw at the border was a cartload of hay leaving the GDR. It resembled an Amish wagon, but was something ordinarily used on their farms. The border guards picked up pitchforks and viciously stabbed them into the hay over and over. If someone had been hiding in the hay, they would have been killed or seriously maimed. We learned later that someone had escaped that way, and the border guards were angry at being humiliated. I later spoke to a young man my own age (17) who was forced to work as a border guard. His parents were diplomats, required to travel, and so he was treated somewhat as a hostage in order to ensure their loyalty. He expressed to me privately his worry that he would be required to kill someone his own age who was trying to escape. Erich Honecker, the GDR leader, a virtual dictator, had imposed the shoot to kill order on escapees at that time.
We heard a lot about economics from our East German hosts. They were required to learn Socialist economic theory as young children. But it didn’t make any sense, it was just slogans. I was at the same time, studying economics and went on to major in it. I never thought I would hear East German economic sloganeering again after the Berlin Wall fell, but that’s what we’re hearing from Bernie Sanders at his rallies. His theories, based on a scheme of luxury taxes and making certain items free, do not work in real life.
Evidence of the failed economy was all around us. Shortages forced families to wait for everything- whether it was in a daily line for food or 5-10 years for a car or apartment. A black and white television set cost about a year’s salary. A manual typewriter, nearly as much. In West Germany, the East Mark currency was trading at 17:1- 17 East Marks for 1 West German Mark. But inside East Germany it was 1:1. We had to keep receipts for everything we bought and if caught engaging in illegal currency trading we could be jailed. At the time of our visit there were many Westerners imprisoned for this very thing. But because of the closed economic system, there were many goods that the East Germans simply had no access to, and other goods were manipulated.
The East German economy was in fact a huge fake. It relied entirely on a barter system on the international level. Guestworkers from Angola were paid in motorcycles because the East Mark was worthless outside the country. Giant hard currency stores catered to Westerners. We were encouraged by our hosts to shop there and spend our US dollars. We did, in fact, because that was the only place to buy palatable food. The GDR was so environmentally devastated in 1987, that the food system was beginning to resemble North Korea. There was no real food. It was a horrible situation crossing the border and going from the wonderful and plenteous cuisine of West Germany, to experiencing something out of a 70s sci fi novel (Soylent Green comes to mind). The food resembled crushed powerbars made into shapes resembling regular food. There were shops with beautifully decorated cakes on the main streets in East Berlin, but they were inedible. For breakfast there were the traditional blood sausages (also popular in West Germany) but they were essentially gelatin and food coloring. The main meat dish I had was in Dresden. It was a horse’s knuckle. There was a tiny sphere of meat surrounded by layers of fat. The Bulgarian tourists travelling with us enjoyed it very much. They looked like they ate worse than the East Germans. The children we saw in the streets were far too thin, and their faces pinched. We always hear from Europeans how obese Americans are, and perhaps we are, but even by Western European standards, these children seemed undernourished. There was no milk, only non-dairy creamer. Of course the coffee was chicory- the only obtainable coffee at the time would have come from Cuba and that was reserved for Russians or perhaps very high level aparatchiks (Socialist Party officials). Most meals were potato-based and that was heavily supplemented with some sort of vegetable starch. We saw very little fresh food of any kind, citrus (watered down and hard to identify) was in short supply. Heavily processed bread was available, and practically free, but the nutritional content was low.
We learned later that the reason for the lack of fresh food was soil exhaustion and poisoning. The terrible acid rain destroyed the production of the few crops that would grow. Acid rain in East Germany was caused by two main factors. One was the burning of brown coal- a very dirty peat. They couldn’t get better quality coal because of the lack of trade with non-Soviet bloc countries.
Another factor was the exhaust from poor quality cars. The famous GDR Trabanz, or Trabi was a small car resembling a Fiat. Sometimes it only had 3 wheels. But the engine was more like a lawnmower engine rather than a modern car engine. The body of the cars were made from Soviet wool waste and tree resin. There were nicer cars available, the Lada, but these seemed to be owned only by high level Socialist Party members.
The free college plan didn’t work very well in East Germany. Free also meant there were shortages, so only a small fraction of students were able to attend university. The competition was so fierce that kids were chosen by a battery of tests taken around age 11. If a child’s parents were college educated, the child would never be allowed to attend university- they would be required to be a farm worker, which was considered ideologically purifying. The state decided what the student would study. Our tour guide was forced to study languages (she actually wanted to study other subjects), particularly Portuguese, in order to bring the revolution to Angola. She had no desire to go to Angola. She was taught Portuguese by people who were forced to learn it in order to bring the Revolution to Brazil. None of these ventures succeeded and she was required to learn a third language, English. In the beginning, she pushed the government agenda, but eventually she began talking to my professors truthfully about her experience, and about what life was really like.”
Online source: Volunteers for Peace-Burlington