Tuesday, February 13, 2007
The link above leads to the story of a US academic arrested in the '60's in East Berlin on trumped up spying charges. He was held by the Stasi (the East German version of the KGB) for over a year, until ultimately traded with U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for a Soviet spy.
The writer just got access to the files that the Stasi kept on him and his interrogation, and the article above recounts his and the files' story.
I've attached a few pics taken while I toured the former Stasi headquarters and museum and East Berlin a year and a half ago. The Stasi museum is small and wholly in German, but interesting in equal parts disgust, dismay, and humor (there's a full display of "Get Smart"-type Stasi spy gadgets).
Uncommon Man's Creed
"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous