One Last Night In East Berlin
Berlin November 11, 1989
Tears flowed down his face. He felt betrayed and hopeless. Franz was infused with anger. Anger at his peers, as they cheer, and tear down the statue of great Lenin in the park. They say breaking up with another person is bad enough but breaking up with one’s country is harder. Franz was born in the GDR has dedicated his entire life to the socialist fatherland. All around him packs of people wander the streets. Each one, their own little mob. It all started when the wall began to fall. All order has broke down, hooligans poured over from the NATO satellite of West Germany. Then there are the backstabbing traders, capitalist pigs, nothing but enemies from within. They destroyed everything that generations of Germans had worked for. They down played the glorious accomplishments of the Socialist Republic. Franz loathed the bastards, it was people like them who ruined Germany in the past. It was nationalist right wing scum that dragged the German people into two world wars, and brought shame and poverty upon the nation. Finally after years of struggle Germany had achieved freedom, socialism, and equality for everyone. Like Communism, Franz’s world was collapsing around him.
Max has never felt so jubilant in his life. Joy is not a feeling he has experienced often in his twenty-five year long life. His life had been miserable so far. He lived in the slums of East Berlin. During school he was always told that with communism everyone would have what they needed. A society without classes. At school he was taught that Socialism would lead the world into the light. Despite this Max hated communism, socialism or whatever you wanted to call it. Max’s hatred of communism went deep. Max could trace everything wrong in his life to a book first published in 1848. Karl Marx’s book, The Communist Manifesto. He considered Marx a personal enemy, it was Marx who was responsible for gunning Max’s Vater down one fateful night one the border of the GDR and the FRG. Max remembers the night all too well. March 4 was the date. It was a cold night nothing usual about that. Max’s house was always cold and wet in march. His Vater didn’t come home for dinner. That night the Stasi searched his house, and then informed his Mutter that his father had died a traitor to the GDR, trying to cross the Berlin Wall into FRG. That night after the Stasti left Max’s house he vowed he would destroy the GDR, especially the Stasi.
Franz stood on the curb outside of a low brick building wearing his grey Stasi uniform. His eyes passed over the plastered red bricks finally falling upon the glorious emblem the yellow hammer and compass surrounded by the rye . He swelled with pride. For Franz the logo symbolized the future. It symbolised Communism the great system that would unite world, and create a classless society. Franz’s pride slowly began to turn back to hatred and anger. He had seen with his own eyes what the capitalist traitors had done to the symbols of communism across Berlin. He could see a mob of these backstabbers advancing down the street. He can make out their torches in their hands. Staring up at the red, yellow, and black emblem, he made a firm decision. He would do whatever it takes to protect it. To protect the GDR.
Max moved along with the mob. He was holding the flag of free Germany the flag of the FGR. The group was in the middle of singing the song of Germans: Das Deutschlandlied. As the song reached its third verse, the mob turned the corner and the front of the Stasi building and came into view. A low red brick building was stamped with the emblem of oppression. The hammer and the compass surrounded by the rye. To Max this symbolise the death of his father, and was a symbol of the slavery of the people. It symbolized Marx, Max’s greatest enemy. Below the symbol was a uniformed figure. “ Lasst uns den Kommunisten zerstören.” (Let's destroy the Communist.) Someone in the group shouted. It may have been Max. And with that they charged towards the solitary form in front of the building.
Franz vigilantly monitored the mob at the end of the street growing ever closer. Soon he can hear them singing Das Deutschlander the old pre communist song. The song of the capitalist and fascist who destroyed Germany. Defiantly Franz began singing Auferstanden aus Ruinen. Rise from Ruins the national anthem of the GDR. Just after he started singing the mob began to charge at the Stasi building. Franz planted his feet and prepared for a fight. He drew from his waist his makarov handgun. And loads it with bullets. He prepared to kill to preserve the future of the GDR.
The mob surged forward flags and torches whipped in the November air. The mix of fire and electric lighting cased strange shadows along the quiet city boulevard. Max is surprised to see that the figure in the uniform has not done the logical thing and flea, but instead has set his feet and seems to be squaring up to fight. The figure then reaches for his waist. The shock hits Max this Stasi agent or whoever ever he was was prepared to kill.
Franz felt relatively calm for the situation. After all this what the years of training had been for. He was a professional, and the mob was just a band of drunk teens on a rampage. It was his job to contain this. Franz thought back to his days at the Hochschule Academy in Potsdam. He remembered the first day when the instructor had talked about the dangerous and high pressure situations. The instructor had said there are three steps. 1. Analyze the situation. Franz has done this. Step 2. Create a plan. Franz’s plan was simple if they get to close he would through a flash grenadine and ready his hand gun. And Step 3. Act. All that Franz has to worry about now was step 3.
This was Max’s moment for years he had vowed that he would get revenge on the Stasi. This was his moment time to avenge his Vater. Max was still apprehensive however about the figure under the sign. The message he was sending was clear, he intended to fight. The as the mob began to close in, they began to shout and to jeer the man who they could clearly now see was a Stasi Agent. “Kommunistischer Dreck” (Communist filth). The crowd began to chant as it made an ark around the entrance to the building. A strange emotion. For the first time since the death of his Vater he questioned whether revenge was right. Looking at the lone Stasi agent he almost felt empathy. He knew what it was to feel alone. It almost felt wrong for one man to be target of such a large mob.
The mob had formed a ring around Franz, He held his head high as the mob began to chant “Kommunistischer Dreck.”( Communist Filth) He moved his eyes over the group. While Franz wore his Stasi Uniform, the men in the mob wore cheap tattered clothing, most of it either too big or too small. Franz’s blond hair was slicked back, while the mobs hair looked like it had not be washed since before the partition of Germany. Franz readed his right hand holding the handgun, as he slipped his hand into his pocket to make sure that the explosives were set. He then turned to address the filthy capitalist pigs.
The Agent, seemed calm almost, too calm. He casually checked something in his pocket, and then raised his head up to address the mob. He removed his grey military hat revealing his perfectly slicked back blonde hair. He then calmly addressed the crowd.
“Greetings Comrades what brings you to the Stasi Headquarters this time at night.”
“Spielen Sie nicht dumm mit uns arschloch.” (Don’t play dumb with us asshole) Someone in the crowd yelled. “Shut up Red someone else shouted.” Max had his full attention focused on the agent. Despite the insults from the crowd the man remained calm. He paused while the crowd jeered him and then continued on with his speech, this time however his voice was sharper and harsher, all pretense of friendliness dropped. “Comrades” he repeated, “Or should I call you fools.” “ Who do you think that you are. Waltzing around with those traitoris banners. Insulting the glory of communism and the GDR. People like YOU are the reason that Hitler rose to power. Two things are going to happen to you. First you are going to go to be rounded up and sent to jail. And then rounded up and sent to hell.” With that final line the mob erupted, Everyone include Maz began to cuss out the Stasi Agent. Max got nudged by the man next to him. In the man’s outstretched hand was greyish rock. Max took the large smooth granite stone, feeling its weight, and running his fingers along the crevices. Max was filled with the feeling of power.
The crowd around Franz erupted. He could feel their anger and hatred pushing in on him. He hoped that they could feel his anger the same way. The crowd then decided that just lobbying insults at Franz was not enough. From around the ring rocks flew. One figure even lobbed a torch. It with flames burning bright fell at Franz’s feet , and quickly died on the cold stone pavement. Franz tried to cover from the volley of rock, He had been highly trained in combat. Majority of the rocks he dodged or just flat out missed him. However a few found their mark. A small stone struck him in the shoulder just above the humerus nothing too serious. He was caught by a large stone. This hit was much more serious. It was a large smooth grey stone, it slammed him dead in the ribs. Franz felt them crack. Pain was sent up from his crest his meticulous uniform was now stained a bright red. Weakly he fell backwards. His knees crumpled and dropped to the ground. As he fell in agony he managed to slip his hand into the jacket, inside was the grenade. It was too late to throw it into the crowd. Franz pulled the pin out, and it was over.
GDR: German Democratic Republic, Sometimes written as DDR or Deutsche Demokratische Republik. Commonly referred to in the West as East Germany.
FRG: Federal Republic of Germany, In German Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Commonly referred to as West Germany.
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization, A military alliance between many western european and north american countries, created to stop the spread of communism in europe.