City's hidden tribute to fall of Communism Around Town, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Nov 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm
This week, Mountain View residents join others around the world in marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But few know that their city is home to two pieces of the Iron Curtain — on display for anyone to see in a Shoreline office park.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 12:22 PM
Posted by Gary Rosen, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Nov 11, 2009 at 8:40 pm
There was no what is dishonestly called the "apartheid wall" in Israel until it was erected in response to a wave of suicide bombers whose victims included Arab as well as Jewish Israelis. It is the grossest sophistry to compare this protective barrier to the Communist wall designed to keep people from seeking freedom. If it is the lack of a Palestinian state that bothers you, history shows that it was the Arabs, not Israel, who prevented the establishtment of that state.
Posted by close reader, a resident of another community, on Nov 13, 2009 at 10:45 am
Second sentence in article:
"But few know that their city is home to two pieces of the Iron Curtain — on display for anyone to see in a Shoreline office park."
The major omission is in your mind.
"The Dad" - you're wrong about China. It is Communist in name only, at this point. The streets are full of bartering, anything goes market-wise, and even at the state level nothing about that country is run like a "pure" Communist state, as the USSR (and China) used to be before .... well, before around the time the wall fell. Ditto Cuba. North Korea and Vietnam are really more unique governments - I don't know why they got lumped in there.
Posted by Christoph Probst, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2009 at 6:38 am
Where is this statue exactly? "In the corner of a parking lot behind an office building ..."
Why not include some more photos to indicate exactly where it is? Or even a link to Google Maps?
"close reader": It is no comfort to the dissidents in Chinese jails to tell them that their jailers are not "pure communists." China is a lot more similar to the USSR than you think. Russian leaders didn't believe in Marxism, either, in spite of their public pronouncements. It's not true that "anything goes" market-wise in China. It's only "anything goes" if you can bribe the right people. The government still has tight control over the economy. The currency is not freely convertible. It's easy to get locked up for expressing the wrong political ideas. China is still a tyrannical country and a scary place.
North Korea and Vietnam are similar because like China they are single-party states, nominally communist, with bad human rights records and little tolerance for political dissent.
It's pretty amazing to have this here in Mountain View. Unfortunately, the associated plaque is notably lacking any sort of graciousness or modesty, and makes it sound like the U.S. shouted and the wall came tumbling down. Though our help was invaluable, in the end it was Germans who actually pulled the thing down. That's not an unimportant historical point, and it would have been nice to seen it acknowledged.
But better an imperfect display than none at all. I plan to pass its location on to my friends. My Dad, who lives in Palo Alto, will also get a kick out of it, I'm sure.
Posted by close reader, a resident of another community, on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:58 am
Christoph: Thanks for your post. In fact I totally agree with what you wrote. Without quibbling or splitting hairs, I'd just like to say that in light of all this, the headline still seems accurate to me.
Posted by Oldabelincoln, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm
Christoph Probst is completely correct.
Certainly there have never been any "pure" Communist states other than perhaps during their first few months of existence before the power plays and human nature take over.
If the fall of the Berlin Wall was not the fall of Communism, it was certainly part of the fall of the Iron Curtain as Churchill defined it.
Communist states of varying degrees of purity remain, and our jobs have been Romneyed over to them, at least to China and Vietnam. If we ever establish relations with Cuba and North Korea, more jobs will doubtless be Romneyed there as well.
Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of the Willowgate neighborhood, on Oct 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm
Updates to this article. Google has purchased the property less the Berlin Wall Sections and signage. They only want the ground. The VAC is the committee who is given the leadership in finding an appropriate site for these historical pieces.