“Kreuzberg”: Why The Berlin Wall Fell But Never Really Collapsed

Few people know how nostalgic I am for The Cold War. How cold it was, the 70s and 80s. How close and comforting it was. How us vs. them. How history’s most dangerous dance. How many “No Nukes” rallies. How death gray the mushroom clouds. How radiated our dreams. How many times some New Wave band would record a song that taught the same lessons as “99 Luftballoons” or “Cities In Dust.”

Ever wonder how many times the end of the world was averted by just one person who said “No” to the ultimate “Yes?”

At least once …

During The Cuban Missile Crisis Vasili Arkhipov, a Russian submarine officer, prevented his captain from firing a nuclear-tipped torpedo at an American aircraft carrier. He was honored posthumously recently. I figure at least 5 billion of us owe him our lives.

The Cold War captures my imagination because we may never know exactly how many times we came so close…

“Kreutzberg” is about the truest atrocities of East Berlin before the Wall fell: desolate streets, bullshit cars, stale bread, bathtub vodka, waiting in line for deodorant, bell bottoms in 1981, Stasi everywhere, John Le Carré being so goddamn right about everything. And the possibility that people would fall in love only so they could turn each other in.

I’d take this grey life over mushroom clouds any day.


IMAGE SOURCE: By The Central Intelligence Agency (Propaganda Sign in East Berlin) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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