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Swim for your life out of the GDR!

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Published on Aug 15, 2013

4 people swim across the Spree to get out of Real Existing Socialism.

More -*** 24 Feb 2014 **

I subtitled this video so I could show it to about 3 or 4 friends.
I wasn't expecting 400K views and 100+ comments.

For the "It wasn't socialism it was communism" crowd

Real Existing Socialism is the term used by the GDR leadership itself to describe its society. Communism was an aspiration. Socialism was what they felt they had achieved and "Real Existing Socialism" was regarded as a milestone on the way and proclaimed loudly and widely in the 1960s. The name of the Party ruling the GDR reflected this - the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany)

"Real Existing Socialism" was was also used extremely ironically by many in the West to describe the awful economic and political situation "next door". I use it in this sense.

I did NOT mean to somehow fuel the arguments of those in the United States who feel that Universal Health Care is "creeping socialism" which will lead to another Berlin Wall!

A few other things:

West Berlin did not belong to West Germany. It was under direct Allied control.

The water belonged to the GDR and so did the very edge of the river bank.
There is NO WAY that by the late 1980s the GDR soldiers would have shot into the grounds of the Reichstag river bank. Once the escapees were away from the water they were safe.

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