In 1979 two families sought to escape East Germany in a hot-air balloon


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/23/in-1979-two-families-sought-to.html


#2

For those who are able to decipher Google Translate’s results: have a go here.

TL; DR: quite current German dramatisation of the events, probably not coming to a cinema near you, has had a rather ok critical reception.

And yes, the story is totally bonkers for people who never lived in an oppressive regime.
Sidenote: THAT one build the wall to keep people in


#3

For those of us who are old enough, remember this one?


#4

yeah totally thought of this when I saw this story


#5

You mean the Anti-Fascist Defensive Barrier? Supposedly it was there to prevent the West Germans (who were depicted as unrepentant Nazis in GDR propaganda) from invading, but it was a bit odd how the guards seemed to be facing the wrong way for that to work…


#6

If you’re ever in Prague, the technical museum, among many other wonders (Kepler’s actual instruments!), has this guy’s bicycle: https://www.nytimes.com/1983/09/09/world/czechs-float-to-the-west-in-a-balloon-of-raincoats.html


#7

https://www.mauermuseum.de/en/start/


#8

I have vague memories of watching a kid’s film circa 1974 where two kids use a hot air balloon to escape from east germany or maybe it was germany during nazi times can’t be certain, but there was a scary part where the grownup bad guys were going to get them and they were holed up in a lighthouse.


#9

I remember reading about this in (I think) Popular Mechanics back in the day. It was amazing how resourceful they were in putting the balloon together.


#10

It was most certainly to stop the brain drain from East Germany (and other parts of the Eastern Bloc), not question at all.


#11

It wasn’t (just) about brains, that would be a oversimplification.

You are aware that I grew up in the Germanies? I have vivid memories of the border controls. I also pride myself to have planted one of the oaks of an alley which a certain mr. beuys started planting on the actual death strip. We had to use a pickaxe, and the tree can’t have survived long on that soil…


#12

Yes, I’m aware of that fact, but many of the people escaping had needed skills that impacted the Eastern economies in serious ways. Prior to building the wall in 61, that was a serious problem and East Berlin was one of the best means of getting out prior to that. The brain drain was a serious problem that from the Eastern perspective had to be addressed and this was part of the solution.

Sorry if I’m not writing a dissertation here on this issue… I suppose that means I shouldn’t open my mouth on the issue.


#13

No, I am the one who’s sorry.

I didn’t really reply to you, I now realise. Of course you know. It’s even your profession to know. I just didn’t want to let anyone think that would be the beginning and the end of the idea of this wall.

Sorry, I didn’t intend to lecture you. Or ask for lectures.

I’ll see myself out for a while and get cold.
Eh. No.
Cool off.


#14

Okay, fair enough. I probably was a little too jumpy too.

Carry on!


#15

Thank you, was not aware that there was a new movie!


#16

Never saw it, but I was trying to think of that film when I saw the headline. Disney, IIRC.


#17

Sounds familiar, Disney. We saw it in the theater, but you know…many years ago.

Checks IMDB

Yup, a Disney/Bavaria Film co-production.


closed #18

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