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Stuttgart, September 15, 1990

Dear Frank,

Germany has us again. The intoxication that Italy always drags me into has passed inexorably. It's a strange process. No sooner have you crossed the Alps than you dive into a world of omnipresent ornamentation and well-set proportions. In the beguiling game of beautiful shapes that surround you, questions that are considered important at home (such as profound distinctions like that between being and appearance or form and content) soon begin to evaporate. Accustomed weights shift and make it difficult to do important things (as is well known, a German favorite pastime). Germany suddenly lies somewhere behind the mountains, it appears strangely untalented and inhibited and at best picturesque in a chaotic way. When you finally find yourself on a stage that nobody tries to claim is not a stage, you know that you have left Germany behind you for good. (The "stage design" forces me to clarify my claim about being important: Being important is "in reality" probably the domain of the Italians after all; the Germans tend to consider what they do to be really important.) The Italian frenzy is As you can see, a process of creeping de-Germanization. I fall for it infallibly as soon as I have crossed the main Alpine ridge.

In spite of the whimpering thing that regularly grabs me - this time too, of course - when I return to weighty German facts, I allow myself this intoxication once a year if possible (instead of the more tangible noise that is popular in this country). One has to see this strange fatherland again and again from beyond its natural and spiritual limits if one wants to escape its dangerous spell. Your old gentlemen feared this intoxication, which is why they walled you in.

However, this time the intoxication was of a slightly different quality than usual. More Germany traveled with me. During our spring trip through the CSSR and the GDR, our attention was particularly focused on the miserable condition of the real socialist legacy. We compared everything with the conditions at home and cultivated our indignation. Now in Italy we noticed that we have been much more gentle with the Germans' land of longing. We were still so in practice tracking down "dirty corners" that we stumbled across them more than usual in Italy. Rome, for example (we visited it again after a long period of abstinence), is, if you look at it soberly, which is not very easy, only slightly less tatty than the metropolises of the states that have succeeded him from Caesaropapism. Some buildings, about which art historians and travel writers have written enthusiastic eulogies, dawns with a gloomy and crumbling facade. Here, too, there is apparently a lack of roof tiles or people willing to put them up, as evidenced by some water-stained ceiling frescoes. And on the streets of Rome you will be no less shaken than on the drive from Dresden to Pillnitz. One is inclined to look over almost everything in this country. Italy is just a different world and it is to be measured by other standards, standards that were set not least by the “picturesque” Italian works of the great enthusiasts. And dirt corners played a folkloristic or elegiac role at best. A work like Hippolyte Taine's Italian book from the 60s of the last century, which does not suppress the dirty corner aspect of Italian reality, for example, hardly had a serious chance against the concentrated power of the books of longing for me. Enthusiasm has an enormous power of repression - that is not unknown to you (incidentally, one encounters a lot of familiarity in Taine's description of the spiritual dirty corners of papal Rome. Among other things, he reports that the police did not tolerate anyone engaged in a science that was close to politics; men who studied or read a lot were monitored. The various “papal” societies, as can be seen, have the same problems, therefore the same solutions.)

Last but not least, Germany also traveled with literature. Milan, Genoa, Lucca, Pisa, Rome - your works have already been there. German holidaymakers - for the time being a few privileged ones - have dealt with them on the luxury beaches of Liguria. With "Oktoberland" I came to a different assessment than the author. It is of course much more than just a first preparation of the events, as you write in the foreword. For me it is rather one, better three and maybe half a mirror of those turbulent events. In my memory some things had already been shifted, overlaid, drawn together and a lot was no longer present. In reading about what was probably the most exciting time I have ever experienced, I went through it all over again, day after day. That alone was a gripping thing. I think that the same thing happens to other readers and that interest in this work will increase in the future because of its protocol-related qualities. This will not change if the external events are also reconstructed in other historical works. The thoughts and feelings of those affected are only authentic in such a work. There is also the multiple perspective, which I believe is of particular interest to Western readers. The “savory” ingredients don't fail to have their effect either. When Judi laughed to herself on the beach or even made bright noises of enthusiasm, I knew that there had been another punch line. In addition to the pictures, I was particularly fascinated by the “figure” of the father (the son may forgive me, but I already knew him a little). I would have liked to get to know him and, after he survived the whole thing, thank God, I would have liked to know how he sees things today. But even with regard to the son, some things only became clear to me after reading the complete work. At first I had my difficulties with the parts of the manuscript that you initially sent me. From a local point of view it seemed self-evident that, with the exception of the hardboiled, to whom I did not count you, all GDR residents should be enthusiastic about the collapse of the system. In this way, and actually only in this way, the emotional events were also reflected in the media. We will have to learn that this cannot be taken for granted, that the people in the GDR also have their histories that cannot simply be brushed aside. "Oktoberland" could provide obstetrics here. Incidentally, I have already expanded the circle of privileged people. The reaction was similar to Judis and mine.

And then the “good comrades” also made their trip to Italy. The text largely "answers" my question about how the system managed to survive for so long despite its poor results. The question presupposes the will to change, which the circumstances evidently prevented from developing. The shameless propaganda was always an inexplicable phenomenon for me in view of the so obviously contradicting facts. Your explanation is unexpected, but it sounds plausible. Your point of view has changed significantly compared to “Oktoberland”. What is missing is the apologetic, regretful and skeptical about the revolution, which now seems more of a natural consequence. I also believe I can hear doubts about dialectics and the feudalism thesis. It would be interesting to read the version that was written before the revolution.

Dear Frank, as you can see, our stay in Italy was almost like a trip to Germany. But Germany is almost everywhere at the moment, which as it is now is undoubtedly better than if it were about everything.

All greetings

Klaus

Stuttgart, October 3, 1990

Dear Frank,

Today's new holiday gives me two opportunities to deal with an old hobby again. I do this all the more because you also have a weakness for the terrain, so that I want to go and I owe you an answer to your letter of May 19, 1990 in this connection.

So while everyone is talking about German unity today, I ask myself whether we are approaching the end of the middle period of the social Middle Ages. Especially today I suspect that the dinosaurs are becoming extinct, that voracious large form of life that marked that period (geological historians call it the Jura) and that smaller individuals often fell under their feet. It seems that in these days we are witnessing the end of another large form from the genus Lineara Occidentara. By that I mean those specifically European systems whose basis is the idea of ​​a specific goal of individual and collective history. Since the days when the idea of ​​a “Judgment Day” developed in the south-east corner of the Mediterranean, towards which everything should run, the goal idea has firmly established itself in the minds of Europeans and is sometimes more and sometimes less helpful in its different life sizes been. In the meantime we have exported this idea all over the world, which has brought some traditional circular cultures around their centers. It was in the logic of such a thought that at some point one no longer wanted to leave the path to the assumed goal to chance alone and therefore began to actively strive for it. And it was logical in the truest sense of the word to want to straighten and accelerate it. The suggestion of a clearly given goal has undoubtedly freed up previously dormant powers. Later, the steps that were believed to be taken on this path were boldly referred to as “progress”. One of the most extreme manifestations of this notion has finally become the large social form that believed that after a “revolutionary” break with traditional ways of life, it could more or less plan everything in hand. That presupposed the assertion of a particularly high degree of certainty about the course of history. The cosmic fog that surrounds all this “in reality” was tried by your prophet - it is certainly no coincidence that he was close to that Mediterranean corner - with lofty words. That meant taking a high risk and the collapse of this necessarily totalitarian idea has become accordingly spectacular.

The problem with this theory is - despite occasional attempts at support - quite obvious. But what interests me today is not this aspect (although there is still a lot to be said in response to one of these attempts at support). It seems that this collapse is not only the fate of the last-mentioned, undoubtedly particularly hypotrophic form of occidental large dinosaurs. The goal idea, that special sense of direction that determines our entire thinking and feeling - in contrast to that of Asia, for example - has also received other violent blows in its mega variant. In the last few decades, for example, the target aspect of Christianity has crept away from the general consciousness. The "Last Judgment" - once "omnipresent" and feared because of its uncertain outcome (which is why it was the subject of numerous attempts at bribery - e.g. buying indulgences) - this ending with kettledrums and trumpets is still a reality today, if at all, in the imaginative pictures to which it inspired the artists (that makes it particularly dear to us - admittedly also expensive: because, as you can see, it had a high price). The no less widespread belief that the world can only be in a state of advancement from a technical point of view has been badly hit, probably since the day when the unsinkable Titanic was confronted by an unprecedented iceberg and hers Festival society celebrating progress carried to the bottom of the sea. Since then the realization has spread unstoppably that with the growing instrumental possibilities the ability to destroy life also increases.

With socialism, another great bastion of naive belief in the total feasibility of all social and technical things for the purpose of realizing a distant goal falls. The large forms of the genus Lineara Occidentara have, it seems, survived altogether, probably because in the end they ate more than life could handle. They were huge, but unfortunately also violent phenomena. You will feel liberated from the giant dinosaurs, but you will also miss the grandiose spectacle they offered. I myself think, however, that it is enough if you collect their enormous bones and can enjoy them in (natural) history museums. As we know, life will go on even without them, in smaller, but by no means less interesting forms (including the linear bacillus, which can no longer be exterminated and which will continue to cause more or less salutary unrest in the future). That the question of meaning is not only not resolved, but actually posed in a certain respect, is another matter to be described. But perhaps its solution also lies in the fact that it turns out to be pointless in the form in which it is usually posed.

But what happens to the now aimless story? Like the history of the earth, it will probably only be divided into ancient, medieval and modern times. There will no longer be an all-dominating future next to which the past appears only as a preparation and the present as a transitory phase. Of course one will find oneself compelled from time to time to add a new age to the modern age and an even more recent age to it. This “piecemeal” is the result of the more modest horizon, which, however, is also an open one. In this way, the layers will emerge in which the fossilized remains of the social dinosaurs will one day be found. These are bones instead of bread, you will perhaps answer me now. But I don't know if that's so little. From a smaller perspective, there is also a lot to do. And maybe part of it can actually be realized.

See you soon

Klaus

PS As you can see, with these linear considerations I have returned to an area that you should be familiar with from the “final report”. The same thing depicts nothing other than the consequences of an extreme sense of purpose. The Marxist theory of history as an example of extreme goal-oriented thinking is - of course - also briefly mentioned there (under No. 5.42 214 341 41).

By the way, you are hereby a witness of real progress. The West is finally catching up with the East in terms of word processing. Admittedly, this box, on which I intend to work in the future, is the greatest advance since the invention of the pencil and eraser. However, you also have her to thank for the fact that the next letter you will receive soon - if the new, somewhat capricious God wills - is dated well before this. It had been in this machine unfinished for a long time, and it was never locked because it didn't want to get out. That's just how it is when you leave the “natural” order of things - you don't know what will come of it in the end. If only it wasn't the crushing footsteps of a new large dinosaur.

Incidentally, in the meantime I was also involved in German-German music in terms of music. These days we did an opera concert with the “Stars of the Semperoper” - a real treat for my ears and, it seems, for the listener too. So the internal German exchange went in the opposite direction, at least in one respect.

Enclosed copies of your unique pieces.

Stuttgart, November 12, 1990

Dear Frank

Enclosed the announced descendant, which I did not want to withhold from you. I am running it under the old date because it was created then and the content can only be understood under this date. I have just come back from Spain, more precisely Catalonia (as I have now learned, that is a big difference), where we gave five concerts with the orchestra. Since we were housed in private families, we got a lot of the Spanish - pardon the Catalan - reality. As this example again showed, the West German standards cannot be transferred very far. It was clear to me that we live on an island at least since my visits to third world countries. How small the island is, however, was again made abundantly clear to me. Not only because of the modest living conditions in the suburbs and small towns, which we got to know very closely.Certain parts of Barcelona's old town are reminiscent of scenes that Marx could not have described more vividly. The impoverishment caused by alcohol, drugs and prostitution has assumed unbelievable dimensions right at the gates of Central Europe. And of course there are “dirty corners” wherever the eye looks (I don't want to mention suitable concert halls). Catalonia is the richest and most active province of Iberia (I am not allowed to say Spain, otherwise my Catalonian hosts will climb onto my roof). In contrast, there is the unbelievable sophistication of the architecture of Gaudi, for which I once again completely ignited. He is without a doubt the greatest - probably of all time.

I hope the family continues to look good. News soon. Maybe another child will come.

greeting

Klaus

Berlin, started on November 13th, 1990

Dear Klaus!

Thank you for your "dinosaur letter" from October 3rd and the copies and congratulations on the technical progress at H.!

I can only agree with your statements on the (supposed) goal of development - with the remark that (as already explained in detail) I definitely see a difference between goal (or meaning) and regularity. The meaning of a system can only be derived from the point of view (and the interests) of the next higher system and to this extent the individual may still find one for himself, but the attempt to achieve a goal for the existence, action or development of the entire species discovering leads inevitably to religion (which is not a solution for me as an atheist - but often makes governing a lot easier. It was not for nothing that we saw the trend towards the "churchization of socialism".)

As far as the dinosaurs are concerned, your optimism is a little exaggerated. I, too, notice that some species are becoming extinct, but the genus seems to me to be a long way from extinction. Evidently the violent ones in particular cannot be killed. In these weeks quite a few are slipping out of the Arabian desert sand, but you (or specifically: I) don't have to look that far or into the telly - they are also standing in front of my window and are even terrible to look at. If I get up from my chair at this minute, I see four armored water cannons from the Federal Border Police and a fifth from the Berlin police, who looks pretty battered, plus team and ambulances, bulldozers, rolling guide points ... On the well-known Alexanderplatz I counted a total of 8 armored personnel carriers of the BGS this afternoon, picturesquely placed between the newly built stalls of the Christmas market, so that the festival of love would also succeed. Against all of this, the number of civil war equipment from October '89 - which, strangely enough, was deployed in the same place - was downright ridiculously timid, bungled provincial, petty-mindedly small.

Now I am definitely not a friend of the squatter scene and certainly not of any stonebreaker. On the contrary: I find it absolutely reasonable that the violence of any chaos is countered with (legal) state violence (I do not presume to leave out cause, effect and alternative solutions here and it would also go beyond the scope of our entire correspondence so far , I think).

What is bad is that violence in general - and unfortunately not ALSO, but ESPECIALLY the physical one - still or again plays such a dominant role in our lives and even seems to expand it. For us Ossis, this definitely applies. So far, we have only known such insecurity on the streets or even in our own apartment as it has developed here in recent months from the horror reports in the party press.

So where is your “End of the Social Middle Ages” ?!

(19.11.90)

Sure, in Europe it currently appears as if the nonsense of calculated genocide is being shelved there. The most drastic arms limitation agreements were signed just today. A victory of reason? It was more likely a victory of consequent dead armament over a bungling (and undisputed systemic) economic policy. A victory for the highly motivated Siemens engineer over his shortage-stricken colleague in Jena.

We are hardly one step closer to the paradise of reason. Certainly, however, the paradise of plus-making. (Some supervisory boards in the West must be really stupid with euphoria when they add up their sales increases since our revolution, since OUR revolution, mind you.)

The dinosaurs have actually lost some particularly clumsy species, but the genus is hardly impressed by it, on the contrary: feeding places have become vacant, new rooms of magnificent dimensions are opening up! You just have to regroup the forces a little and then the big thing can go on - some are already lively and smacking their lips completely unabashedly, others (the fed up with the strong nerves) wait a little longer. They know that the morsel should be laid out more conveniently for them.

Meanwhile, the little animals here are grumbling about not getting enough of the legacy of the bravely exterminated species. Most have not yet understood that they themselves are - as always - the bite to be handed out, not to mention the thought of maybe biting the big guys in the tail together.

Sometime between November 4th (1989) and the March election we lost the solidarity that - coupled with a little courage - achieved so much last autumn. We are currently experiencing our evolution in the direction of the opossum and whoever fills his bag reasonably successfully (without being eaten) will probably own the future and there is nothing bad about it, because the circumstances - they are just like that. Ergo: You will have to come to terms with the dinosaurs for a few hundred thousand years. Maybe this will even work, just: It's the age of the dinosaurs after all! Amen.

(26.11.90)

Incidentally - to finally leave your picture - a little bit of new self-confidence is slowly germinating in the minds. More and more contacts with the transfigured market economy and its representatives show that the Wessis only cook with water. However, they heat with better coals and - they scream as if they had something else in the pot. Fire without coal under the conditions of a lack of wood - one of the basic skills for trained GDR citizens - they do not bring them at all. (I already talked about it in the summer.)

On the basis of this self-confidence, of course, the first demands come, and that's a good thing, I think. Next year it will be decided whether in united Germany we will get used to the idea that Ossis are third-class Germans (every Polish emigrant is, for example, three times better off with the foreign pensions law than our old ones), or whether there are clear timetables for a real convergence can be established. As it stands, no one is ready to give us equality. So it will have to be fought for. The railroad workers have been on strike since last night and I fully sympathize with them. It is probably not exactly outrageous to ask for at least half the income of a colleague in the West next year, (is it?) Especially since in my opinion the employers in the public service - in contrast to the badly battered industry - should most likely be able to do so, because there it really is the same service (under much more difficult conditions) and the same prices are easiest to enforce there.

(The new Bundespostler is talking a little here, whose chair is currently wobbling more than was to be feared 4 weeks ago. Sometimes it is not that easy not to be driven crazy.)

Please write ‘soon your opinion and that of your acquaintances about how I would be very interested in the attitude of the old federal states to the demands of the new ones. "Overcoming the division by sharing" does not seem very popular to me at the moment - and I somehow understand that ...

See you soon

Berlin, Nov. 17th 1990

Dear Judy,

thank you so much for your letter from Oct 24th. I was so glad, that I'll try to give you a short answer in my bad and simple English (without dictionary). I'm very happy having a real fan now, but - you are my only fan, I'm afraid. So you can say, you have a private writer for yourself, who has written a book especially for you. Congratulations!

Do you want an autograph?

Nobody wanted my book and also the RIAS which at first seemed very interested in it and the "Guten Genossen" for a radio feature had not contacted me for months. (So ​​I have now not even a copy for myself.)

The same thing was about the essay for Bertelsmann’s "Book of Germans". They wrote me, only one of each seventy they could place in their book. So I stopped all those activities since spring '90 and the only way I'm writing are the letters to Klaus. (Do you read them too?)

So becoming "rich and famous" will not be in those way, I'm afraid - but "rich only" is even a good thing and I have ever been an optimist. I hope, Mr. Schwarz-Schilling will be so intelligent giving me a good job and enough money. If not I must go to Baden-Wuertemberg (to Stuttgart, for instance) and sell my great intelligence outside the post enterprise. Today Berlin is more a hard place than a place of hope and future. (May be it will be an other case in some years ...)

Many greetings from Paula and all the best for you and the children

Love,

Frank

23rd Nov 1990

Dear Klaus!

Your "later submitted" September letter has just arrived. It fills a prevented writer like me with some satisfaction to hear that the readership of his main work is evidently about to leave the single-digit range. Perhaps you can inconspicuously incorporate a lecturer into the crowd of the “privileged”?

One more remark on the "good comrades": Thanks to the computer technology, it is child's play to make the "old" version from summer '88 available to you.

You may be amazed, but: I have hardly changed anything in the principle for the "post-reunification version"! Only the beginning and the end have been adapted to the current events and all verbs of the text have been set back one time level.

I will send you the expression, insofar as it deviates (apart from the verbs) from the "edition" available to you, so that you can get an idea of ​​the changes in my thinking between summer '- which in my opinion hardly exist on this topic (!) 88 and spring '90.

Berlin, December 30th, 1990

Dear Klaus!

A few days off and the turn of the year are the occasion for a first look back at the past year 1990. For us Germans it was associated with enormous changes, even if it is only really noticeable for the Germans in the East at the moment. In the long run, however, the others will not be able to stay the same either - if they want to.

For us, in any case, (almost) everything changed in this year 1990 and as in probably every revolution everyone, those involved and not involved, stands a little amazed at what they have done: the majority of the activists of autumn '89 have long been back in disappeared after political immersion and try to cope with suddenly sitting in the middle of capitalism, for which they really had not gone out on the streets. It is similar to those who (hoping for a revolution from above for far too long) left them alone on the street and under a spell, only to dream of their dream of the 3rd way for a dozen weeks as free riders of the events.

Speaking of dreams: the many so-called little people also had their dream - the one of the Golden West and the tough D-Mark - and this year it came true. “To be a German citizen, that would be something!” They had always thought. It's just a shame that the dream came true for everyone. And because no one here exchanges a D-Mark for a complete meal in a restaurant, you didn't become the great man in eastern Germany to whom you usually looked up so enviously. For the top-down perspective you have to go to Prague or Poland. For many, better than nothing at first. So: “We're somebody again!” - at least east of Frankfurt (/ Oder!). And then you are already dreaming the first sequences of the next dream: You want to be not just a German citizen, but a REICHER German citizen. So the elbows are pointed and some can do it quite well. So much for them.

And then of course there are the many who still talk about counterrevolution and agent work. Some think terribly on the textbook wisdom of the class struggle, even have real feelings of resistance fighters when pasting posters for the PDS. (The Gysi doesn't suit them at all, but what else is / still? / Not at hand.) One has the impression that they don't really know whether they should be happy when it goes further downhill (" We have always said it. Now it is showing its true colors, capitalism ”), or whether you should not book the trip to Paris before the feared rent increase comes.

And these four types from the New Federal States / the Five States / the accession area / the former GDR / East Germany look astonished and shocked at the fifth, the actual (provisional?) (Local) winner of the revolution:

You can look wherever you want in the economy - the say is still the same everywhere (I touched on this topic briefly in July, meanwhile the contours are much clearer, which is why I will come back to it now.) Only their salaries are now - through Funnily enough, no one else is responsible for it - they have been greatly increased and their powers expanded. Since this is on the one hand a general trend and on the other hand nothing happens in the east without a western blessing, this must be wanted in Bonn (or better: in Frankfurt) and after a brief thought it seems logical. Here is pretty much the only point where the GDR has something to contribute to our united fatherland: Sufficient unscrupulousness and well-grounded contacts to the Comecon! As an investor, you accept a bit of the Stasi past with your future partner and the trust of course prefers to sell the "property" to the old director rather than to any Mr. Namenlos, who was not allowed to become anything under Honecker / Mittag. Only naive people wonder about it. However, tens of thousands have reason to be outraged, especially when they have to experience firsthand the hair-raising personnel policy of these old men. They really do exist, the “old rope teams”.

In this respect, the western media (which usually bring a lot of half-tumbled rubbish over the East) really hit the nail on the head here - only: characteristic of these clusters is less the common SED or Stasi affiliation, but a common past par excellence. It could just as well have run with the recorders, in the bowling club or the handball club. (Although, of course, because of the almost 100% SED membership of these people, the SED effect actually predominates. But even then it is by no means a brotherhood in the spirit of Marx and Lenin, but - and always - the spirit of posts, power and money). You just carry on as before, only under different circumstances, which shouldn't be difficult for those types who routinely have always been through every line without any problems.

So much in (admittedly simplifying) brevity, the current range of types of your new compatriots. As far as the situation is concerned (I have to stay in the present tense despite the intention to look back) the most important thing is probably the establishment of the rule of law. A fine thing, but it is extremely difficult here to get to know your new law at all, not to mention using it or even enforcing it.

Typical symptom: The snake - it has still not released our poor little people from its grip. It is true that we are no longer after sausage and oranges (if you disregard the fact that the Ossis, in their consumerism, were really ready to buy whole areas empty before Christmas), we are now with banks and authorities, for IDs and certificates, yes even with (car) insurance. For the latter, the absolute dream business in their company's history must have been over here in December. For many weeks around a dozen companies have been established in front of our window by caravan or container. The business must have been worth it anyway with the flood of newly acquired (used) cars, but in the last few days of the year people even took vacations just to get some kind of car liability insurance in time. Nobody who paid attention to the level of the tariffs (“always compare the prices!” Haha, Judy), you got in line where the line seemed the shortest (less than 20) and that's it!

Praise be to the smokers! [1]

In short: it will take a long time, and it will not go off without weeping and chattering teeth, after the formal state and the real bureaucratic unity of the Germans (as far as the emotional unity is concerned, I am waiting a little bit for your contribution).

On the other hand, it's really only been a damn short time. The currency union was forged 6 months ago and my citizenship is only 10 weeks old. Millions in the east would like to swap with us immediately and would be thrilled if they could line up for car insurance.

With which I am now approaching the last and thus foreign policy part and at the same time notice that the contemplative review of the year '90 that was planned did not turn out to be one, for which I ask your forgiveness.

Even more than the really stupid situation in the Gulf moves me - as you can probably imagine - the situation in the SU. After Shevardnadze's resignation at the latest, it seems clear to me that the question of whether dictatorship or democracy is no longer there. The only question now is when, at what price and how many dictatorships will be set up - and last but not least: to what extent are we in Germany affected by it? If dictatorship appears to the people as the lesser evil, it inevitably comes. We have experienced this in Germany and Chile in this century, and the initial situation seems very similar to me in the Soviet Union: You are ready for a dash of soup in your own pot to ignore the punch in the stomach of your neighbor, because you seem to have a choice only: anarchy or dictatorship. In such a messy situation, democracy no longer plays a role as an alternative, and as far as this can be judged from here, survival there can actually only be ensured by means of violence. The distribution is about to collapse and probably only the public shooting of ten thousand sliders can help. With a small phase shift, there is then the problem of the production finally collapsing, again shootings, etc ... In the end, the grateful people again have a beloved tyrant in front of their noses, whom they can not get rid of, and who are soon so convinced of their sole saving Superman role themselves is that next the critics will be shot ... etc etc, tail bite and end of my intellect - see my September letter!

The only bit of optimism that I can bring in on the subject of SU is the hope that this cup will pass US by and the scraps of the upcoming eruptions will not fly too close to US. In any case, one can feel sorry for the peoples of the SU in their hopelessness and nothing changes the fact that their own infinite patience is apparently one of the main causes of this hopelessness. So a few weeks ago we reached into our narrow pockets and financed at least 1 care package. The children also took part with their piggy bank ...

That's supposed to be it for today. We wish you all a healthy and successful 1991 and hope to somehow embrace you again in the next 12 months

Your Frank

[1] private note: Paula's Camel-Ford has successfully saved us from the whole car horror so far.

So far we have gotten off very lightly (toi, toi, toi!) On the authorities queuing route (in New German German it would have to be called “-rail”), starting with November last year when we were not on the investment run on refrigerators, Washing machines and television sets took part (two days of queuing and - converted - saved at least 2,000 D! Marks), over the spring when we refrained from the state-approved 1: 5 exchange (saved 450 DM), the monetary union in which we 4 additional Open accounts especially for the 1: 1 exchange at a fairly unknown and therefore not overcrowded Sparkasse branch (saved one day of queuing), up to and including switching to Commerzbank in July. There are huge queues at the Ostberliner Sparkasse to this day. Now it is no longer about change requests and the distribution of the family's assets among all great aunts, but about the application for euro checks and cards, but you have to tie your leg for at least half a day and then after a waiting period of 6 to 8 weeks when picking up the same thing again. (For most of them this is particularly "bad" because with us, with the existential fear, so has work discipline and they now actually have to officially take time off.)

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