Freitag, 13. Juli 2018

VA - Wir singen ein neues Lied (Eterna, 1970)

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 10.

The "Werkstattwochen der FDJ-Singeklubs" were an important communication platform for the East German "Singe-Bewegung". They took place every year between 1967 and 1988 in another town in the GDR and were an annual meeting point for the scene with hundreds of participants from all over the GDR. Establishd ensembles and solist presented their new programms, new "Singeklubs" introduced themselves. The artists practised songwriting, composing and interpetation in workshops.

The album "Wir singen ein neues Lied" is a live recording from the final event of the "III. Werkstattwoche der FDJ-Singeklubs" at the wonderful Babylon film theatre in East Berlin, July 11, 1969.

A1 Singeklub "Livia Gouverneur" der BBS "Neues Leben" Dresden - Hört doch mal zu
A2 Singegruppe der NVA Neubrandenburg -  Links, zwei, drei, vier
A3 Singeklub der EOS Hoyerswerda - Lied der neuen Zeit
A4 Singeklub "Geschwister Scholl" Wismar - Hiring, Aal un Kabeljau
A5 Singeklub der EOS "Humboldt" Leipzig - Lied der Neulandfahrer
A6 Singeklub vom "Haus der Jugend" Cottbus - Bergen op Zoom
A7 FDS-Singe-Club der EOS Bützow - Lied von der blauen Fahne

B1 Stephan / Gruppe "pasaremos" Dresden - Der Weg
B2 Heiner und Stephan / Gruppe "pasaremos" Dresden - Lorelei 1969
B3 Mikis Theodorakis-Klub Berlin - Wenn der Krieg vorbei ist
B4 Katja / Oktober-Klub Berlin - Die Taube
B5 Magdeburger Singeklub beim Klubhaus "Junge Talente" - Elektrischka
B6 Singegruppe "Kurt Barthel" Rostock - Vagel Kran
B7 Michael / Singeklub "Geschwister Scholl" Wismar - Der Wal
B8 Joan & José (Spanien) - Wenn du eines Tages willst...
B9 FDJ-Singe-Club der EOS Bützow - Brüder, seht, die rote Fahne
(320 kbps, vinyl rip, front & back cover included)

6 Kommentare:

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

I really appreciate your posting of music and musicians from the GDR. As a child in the United States in the late 1950s and 1960s, I remember how programmed we were to regard the citizens of the GDR, or, for that matter, of any country in the Eastern bloc, as propagandized mindless tools of the state who would emigrate without hesitation to a western capitalist country if they had the chance to do so. The fact that that belief was an oxymoron; that is, why would they emigrate if they were mindless captives of the state's ruthless application of Communist ideology, never came up in the discussion. Nor was there any discussion of how the staunch and brave allies of World War II, the Soviets, devolved so quickly into inveterate enemies of freedom and democracy after the war ended.

I have no illusions about the GDR, Erich Honecker, or the Stasi. Frankly, I believe that the GDR, like the Soviet Union, perverted Marx's vision and instead oversaw an economic system that was essentially state capitalism. I also detest Stalinism and the suppression of the reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and reform movements elsewhere . However, I began to reject the propaganda of my own country regarding citizens of the GDR when, while in high school, I read the English translation of Christa Wolf's 'Nachdenken über Christa T.' Of course, books such as Wolf's were not part of any school curriculum; perhaps because they might cause readers to question the basis for the reduction of citizens of socialist and communist states to automatons as programmed and mindless as Laurence Harvey in 'The Manchurian Candidate.' By the time, I read the plays of Bertolt Brecht for my German major in college and, at the same time, discovered the music of Wolf Biermann and Kurt Weill, I was far more skeptical about what we were being taught about socialist and communist countries. Today I live ten miles from the National Security Agency which would give the Stasi a run for its money in the game of surveillance and rejection of the right of privacy. As a retired Federal employee, I know how bad ideas can be promoted by any bureaucracy and often reflect not that those who implement them are deliberately evil, but instead that such ideas develop a life of their own and are rationalized by well-intentioned people as necessary both to the perform their duties well and to preserve the security and values of the country that they seek to serve. Once one becomes a true believer of an ideology, whether of Soviet-style communism or allegedly free market capitalism, one can rationalize, without real questioning or thought, any excesses or abuses of power as critical to the interests of the people when, in truth, they are critical to the preservation of the state and its control overt the lives of others.

The music and recordings of poetry and plays by artists from the GDR that you provide foster within me the same thoughts that I experienced when reading Christa Wolf so long ago. They present and reflect the humanity and diversity of thoughts and opinions of people in the GDR. They serve well as a refutation of the simplistic propaganda of my childhood that has been revived in the last few years to denounce the current Russian government and its leaders. They also provide insight into what was lost when the GDR ended.

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…
Dieser Kommentar wurde vom Autor entfernt.
Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…
Dieser Kommentar wurde vom Autor entfernt.
Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

As with the alleged Arab Spring, the western media heralded the end of the GDR and other eastern bloc governments as immensely and unilaterally beneficial and liberating for the citizens of those countries. According to the media, if there was a downside to the ending of communism in the GDR, it was that the citizens were so backward from the oppression and deprivations of the GDR, that the success of reunification would be jeopardized by the need for infusion of a greta amount of money and education necessary to make them competitive and able to thrive as members of a capitalist democratic republic. In brief, they would be a drag on the economy and West Germans would soon resent them for the expense incurred in assisting their assimilation and providing them with the skills to do well.

What wasn't written about was the loss of the social and communitarian values of citizens of the GDR; that is, their sense of and belief in community as well as their rejection of the glorification and practice of excessive individualism and the relentless pursuit of material wealth that are inherent in the capitalism and social values of the Bundesrepublik, as well as in my country. In other words, the marked loss of important social values and community that East Germans experienced after reunification have been deliberately ignored because they raise profound questions about the values any society should hold dear and disprove that re-unification and life in a capitalist country are unquestioningly beneficial.

For me, posts such as this show the creative genius of artists in the GDR and, in addition, to providing great music, broaden my understanding of what was positive in east German culture and values. They show that the citizens of the GDR were not a monolithic mindless entity but instead regarded the values and goals of their society as important. For example, when I listen to Wolf Biermann, I often hear an artist protesting the failure of his government to adhere to the tenets of socialism and communism as Marx defined them and that government's concomitant failure to create an open society that reflects the best ideas and values of socialism and communism.

I suspect that, had he lived, my favorite German writer Heinrich Boell would not have been so triumphant and smug about the 'triumph' of western capitalist values. In his novel Fürsorgliche Belagerung (The Safety Net), he examines and rejects the 'security' measures taken by the Bundesrepublik in response to the terrorism of the Red Army Faction. More importantly, he reveals that the Bundesrepublik was as adept as the GDR in implementing oppressive measures and denying or restricting civil rights under the guise of protecting its citizenry's well-being and security. Similarly, in this country lawmakers passed without meaningful debate the Patriot Act into law and, in doing so, willingly suppressed our civil and human rights in order to protect us. To paraphrase George W. Bush at the time, if you're not with us you're against us, so any protest becomes unpatriotic and subversive.

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

The American press has covered in detail and condemned the autocratic governance of Vladimir Putin but has been ominously silent about the loss of rights and freedom since the Patriot Act was implemented. Whether the Bundesrepublik's or the United States' actions are equivalent in all aspects to the actions of Honecker's and Putin's governments is not the issue; rather the ability of both 'democratic republican' governments to speedily enact legislation and measures that substantially restrict the rights of citizens whenever the state determines them to be necessary is. All of these thoughts come to mind when listening to a significant amount of the music you post. More succinctly, what you post compels thinking and reflection as well as listening.

Years ago I told myself that I would never again be susceptible to attempts by my or any other government to categorize the character the citizens of any country as so fundamentally different from us that they deficient in their humanity. After all, less than two decades before I was born, Japanese Americans and legal immigrants in the western United States were confined to concentration camps and experienced great personal and material losses because they were regarded as inherently alien to and, consequently, disloyal to American values. Your posting of the diverse works of artists who lived in the GDR ensures that, at a minimum, anyone who follows this blog will reject the facile depiction of them and their fellow citizens as puppets inoculated by constant propaganda against thinking critically about their government and society. I thank you for consistently doing so.

zero hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot for your thoughts and your wonderful feedback. In fact i have similar memories learning about people of eastern europe countries in school. And a i really agree: The GDR government, Stasi, Stalinism and all that really perverted the ideas of Engels and Marx. And, on the other hand, there was a lot of creativity, humanity and subversion in the eastern europe culture scene. You found wonderful words for that distinction and my motivation for these postings. Thanks a lot and all the best!

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