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Do our youth know? - do we remember? - what life was like behind the Iron Curtain?

Are Americans actually forgetting what socialism was like? Are they being manipulated to forget?
This weekend I was sorting through a hundred Nat'l Geographic magazines. My husband's a teacher doing some European geography and he wants to give his students resources for choosing a country and drawing its map with mountains and main rivers. (Their parents never get them to the library, and internet is problematic for several reasons)

So I'm scanning the cover of each issue, and leafing through prospective articles to check whether there is a serviceable map. These Nat'l Geographics go back to the early 60's. It is amazing to see the reminders of what life was like behind the Iron Curtain. Also, the magazines published circa 1999 show the mind-numbing misery & pollution under socialist rule which came to light when the Curtain was lifted.

Now Tom Brokaw & others are reporting as if capitalism is WORSE?
Why are they?

Answer Question

Asked by waldorfmom at 7:49 PM on Nov. 9, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 19 (6,931 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I was 4 years old when JFK was killed. I remember growing up during the Cold War. When it fell, my cousin went to Russia to help get the farming operations back up and running. As an agronomist, he had particular skills needed to turn the state farms back to private farms. He found that the Russians would pay $1 for an aspirin. He took New Testaments to pass out. They tore the book apart, passed the pages out, and rotated them through the village until everyone had a turn with each page. On his second trip, he took bottles of aspirin to give out and more Bibles. These people were starving literally and figuratively. I think you make a great point. Do we really want to be the "new Russia"? Do we want the state telling us what job we will have, how much we will make, and how many people will live in our 3 room apartment?


    Answer by jesse123456 at 7:58 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • Tom Brokaw et al were talking about the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Here is one article describing their coverage:

    And another link to coverage 10 years after the liberation, with a video of Christiane Amanpour:

    Answer by waldorfmom at 8:00 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • I would venture to say many reading this question on CM today have no idea what the "Iron Curtain" was, where it was and what it represented and who was responsible. When I was a kid in school we did 'bomb shelter drills" I already had teenagers when the Berlin Wall came down. My son and daughter looked at me as if I was out of my mind when I stood watching the television with tears running down like a faucet. It was not something I ever expected to witness in my lifetime.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:02 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • Um, no. My best friends are from Russia during the Cold War. I have a pretty good idea. In fact, scary thing is: most of the USSR provinces wish for it to come back. That is bizarre from my stand point, but an honest opinion from them. So maybe it is that we all have a misunderstanding from our own governments point of view.

    Answer by urkiddingright at 8:04 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • jesse123456, it is actually YOU who brings up a good point - I was merely concerned that our kids were oblivious to an important chunk of reality.

    I had not yet extrapolated to how knowing this reality would affect their submissiveness about the recent rise of socialism here in America.

    Thank you for making my thoughts relevant to our immediate circumstances, as well as to our character !

    Answer by waldorfmom at 8:07 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • I remember. It's said that so many have forgotten.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 8:15 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • Our schools are just not educating our kids. But there no reason why you at home can bring up some history.
    "does who don't learn from history are domed to repeat"

    Answer by gammie at 8:20 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • If we remembered we never would have elected Obama to try to erect one here.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:24 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • I don't know how old you are, waldorfmom, but I remember the fear of going to war with Russia. We watched very carefully the war between Russia and Afghanistan and then Iran and Iraq. We saw the Russian military machine in action and could see how efficient if was (wasn't). I thought there was an actual iron wall around the border until about I was in the 6th grade. I remember Krushev, Brezhnev and the "red phone" in the Oval Office. It took me a long time to trust the DEFCON level wouldn't go to lock down of the mountain. We are going to be the country other countries don't want to be like.


    Answer by jesse123456 at 8:32 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • Suddenly my stock piling of tylenol when I have an Fsa that has to go...

    Answer by lovinangels at 8:38 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

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