Wikivoyage talk:Joke articles/East Berlin

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The whole thing could use some pictures; here are some commons categories to chose from:

I hope some of this is useful Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:00, 28 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply] Karl Marx Allee is probably the most notable example of 1950s Stalinist architecture in East Berlin. Hobbitschuster (talk) 02:50, 28 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

c:category:Military of the German Democratic Republic and its subcategories (such as c:Category:National People's Army of the German Democratic Republic) might be worth a look; the Cold War theme isn't complete without soldiers everywhere, as this is the front line between East and West.
I suppose we still need two dozen words or so for the front page blurb? " East Berlin - Featured destination - The jewel of the German Democratic Republic, a magnificent workers' paradise, stands guard heroically at the strategic crossroads between glorious Communist idealism and imperialistic capitalist tyranny..." K7L (talk) 18:23, 9 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Swept from [1]

East Berlin[edit]

April 1 is coming up really soon... and the proletariat has been hard at work for the collective glory of the nation. K7L (talk) 16:15, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • An uncontested election - how apropos! Nonetheless, I think #1 is a fine choice (and that's not just my fear of the Stasi talking). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:33, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Folding my ballot like a good socialist citizen The only thing that could make this banner scream "Eastern Bloc" louder would be hammers and sickles or hammers and compasses (is this the right word and plural?) in this case. I think the banner is a fine choice, but if there is a better proposal, I might change my vote. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:33, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Adding second option. I like the first option, but in the interest of offering an answer to Hobbitschuster's request for something that more explicitly suggests communism does justice to our glorious Marxist inspiration, here's a nifty shot I found of the Marx-Engels-Forum that I think could reasonably pass as a government-sanctioned image. (Incidentally, if anyone is wondering, having the cathedral relegated to the background of the image is a very deliberate choice.) PerryPlanet (talk) 23:44, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I prefer #2. What does this park look like now, and what is in place of that building? -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:22, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I still prefer #1 Marx and Engels are still there (as is the giant Marx head in Karl Marx Stadt and other than the ghastly 80s fashion and the fact that the Palast der Republic is still there (which really, you only know when you've already been there) the picture could have been taken today for all a fleeting glance shows. Picture number 1 meanwhile cannot have been taken much later than 1990, as immediately evident by what is found on the street. Maybe we could use a picture of some parade and say the April First parade is particularly spectacular? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:40, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I appreciate the second option but strongly agree with Hobbitschuster's above comment. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:59, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can we give it "red star" status? Saying something like "This article is a star, in fact it is a red star and has been awarded the Lenin Order First Class with ribbon for its excellent coverage. And have it have a huge red star as a symbol. Can we do that? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:11, 8 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Much like we customised "This article is a timeline an outline..." for Wikivoyage:Joke articles/Time travel? K7L (talk) 20:30, 8 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This travel topic about time travel is a timeline an outline. It has a template and possibly some limited information on teleportation to a few key eras, as well as advice on how to avoid collisions with UFOs and being eaten by feral dinosaurs, but there is not enough information present. Wikivoyage intends to fix these issues yesterday, if we get around to it. In the meantime, please plunge forward and help it grow!
Yeah, something like that. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:38, 8 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


1982 memorial

A note about guarding documents like passports? Seems obvious, but there was a plot of an OTR radio play, about "Western" passports being stolen in Berlin for use by those wanting to leave East Berlin for whatever reason. (Identify theft is also a well-known tradecraft method in Cold war espionage thrillers, IIRC.)

I seem to recall a "bridge" somewhere, that's to be avoided. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 15:58, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • This would be Gleinicke Brücke (aka "the Bridge of Spies"), which is featured in the recent Tom Hanks movie, on the border between Berlin and Potsdam - and, therefore, the German inner border. Maybe it would be worth mentioning the Spandau citadel as well; there's the 80's movie called "Gotcha", very amusing, starring Anthony Edwards (aka Goose in Top Gun) where East Berlin appears with prominence, and the climactic chase was filmed inside the citadel. Ibaman (talk) 16:23, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isn't the "w:Bridge of No Return" in the DMZ (Korea)? There are obvious demarcation points like "Checkpoint Charlie" in US-occupied Berlin; there's also a rail station that's on both lines. The Reagan w:Tear down this wall! speech was at the w:Brandenburg Gate. For some reason, all of this reminds me of the w:Top Secret! film and the national anthem (presumably to the tune of Ode to Joy) "Hail, hail East Germany / Land of fruit and grape / Land where you'll regret / If you try to escape / No matter if you tunnel under or take a running jump at the wall / Forget it, the guards will kill you, if the electrified fence doesn't first." That film is from the Reagan era.K7L (talk) 16:29, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The "ghost" rail station is Friedrichstraße. I don't recall very well whether it's the only western station on a line which is almost wholly in East Berlin, or the other way around. I think that the Soviet embassy's "wedding cake" building, on Unter Den Linden, deserves to be mentioned as well. Ibaman (talk) 16:51, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Friedrichstraße station, though served by Western lines and located in East Berlin territory, was not a Geisterbahnhof. See w:Ghost station#Particular stations.
I suppose the mainspace redirect East BerlinBerlin will need to be changed to point here no later than April 1? K7L (talk) 17:06, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What nominal date was this being written for? (I had the mid 1980's in mind when I suggested it.) ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 15:58, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was torn between some point in the eighties and a fictitious "the GDR never fell" present day. Ultimately what gave it away is the mention of the Hannover Berlin railway that was just too good to pass over. Even if the GDR still existed today it would have been built by now and thus the lament about the terrible state of transit routes and the need to fly into West-Berlin would not be true any more. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:24, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As for ghost stations, look here. Friedrichstraße is mentioned in the article, as a border crossing point, though the article is a bit unclear on the Intershops - apparently they were only to be found in Friedrichstraße and not in other stations. You could shop there without passing immigration, but you'd have to pay West German customs unless you'd entered the GDR. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:26, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm aware of the w:Ghost stations article (and linked to it above). w:Intershop lists them as being present in various places, including w:Interhotels and U-bahn stations. There's likely more in WP which we could use as background, although this does look to be April 1 feature-ready now. K7L (talk) 00:12, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This could be a real article[edit]

The only difference between this page and some of our supposedly "real" articles? The other articles present this sort of destination as itinerary (or as travel topics), listing places to visit to retrace the past and indicating what's still standing now. Otherwise, this destination isn't a joke, it's just as real as Route 66 (decommissioned in 1985), the Orient Express (curtailed from 1962 onward) or the RMS Titanic (which struck a berg in 1912). None of those pages claim to be April Fool's jokes. They're real descriptions of real history with usable instructions on how to retrace the paths of real, historic journeys. K7L (talk) 19:18, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(edit conflcit)Good luck trying to find the Palace of the Republic, then. Look, there are still remnants of the GDR in the east of Berlin, but there are also still remnants of the Nazi Era, the Kaiserreich, the Weimar Republic and every other era of Berlin's history. I don't think we should try and make this into an article. Most of the attractions related to the former partition are mentioned in the Berlin article or its district articles. And saying "You can see where X once stood if you squint real hard" is not all that interesting. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:21, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@K7L: So your concern is that it's not funny? If so I can understand the concern. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I said (but people keep not believing for some reason), we can still chose another suggestion for the April First feature if need be. But if you think the non-funnyness is a problem of the writing and not the subject matter, you are more than welcome to edit as you wish. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:17, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What happened to FicTravel and UnVoyage? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 22:23, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Come again? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:25, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No worries, that was a side observation, it's not pertinent to the disscusion and can be struck out.ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 23:04, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm still a bit curious as to what that was about. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:06, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
UnVoyage was a short-lived attempt to parody us. It never got off the ground and is best forgotten. K7L (talk) 00:24, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(unindent) Hobbitschuster - April Fool's articles don't have to be funny (though they're certainly not prohibited from being funny either), and I don't think that's what K7L was getting at. What we're looking for is fictionality - either a fictional destination (i.e. Narnia, our 2013 AFD article), something real that's not a destination but is treated fictionally as if it were (i.e. 2014's Wikipedia), or real destinations that are presented fictionally (i.e. the historically anachronistic way East Berlin is presented here). This is a fine April Fool's Day article - and, given the last-minute, slapdash way we usually go about the task, I'd advise against scrapping this one and hoping someone else will have a spark of enthusiasm to start back at square one before the first of the month. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:07, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you think this article "works" better as a 1980s frozen in time relic or "the Cold War never ended" piece? Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:25, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I prefer the frozen in 1980s approach, simply because it's much more straightforward. I think a "Cold War never ended" approach would require some Man in the High Castle-esque worldbuilding to properly pull off, and I don't know if I'm up for that. PerryPlanet (talk) 23:50, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Leaving this in 1984 would be goodthinkful, no need to revise fullwise. K7L (talk) 01:59, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also seem to recall a print satire on Eastern European "Socialist" regimes in print form from the 1970's I found in a second hand bookshop around 1997, sadly I can't recall the title...ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 12:52, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Why Come to Slaka?" according to Wikipedia. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 12:52, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Links to Wikipedia[edit]

Just how many of them do we want here and does policy apply here? If so to what degree? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:44, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What used to stand where the DDR Museum is now?[edit]

Was that the Palace of Culture or something else? I recall that there was an important DDR building where that museum is now, but the DDR Museum's website doesn't seem to say. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:55, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The w:DDR Museum [2] is Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1 which WP has as an "elite school" Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium (1650-1880); the WP article then lists Interhotel's Stasi-infested w:Palasthotel (Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 5, constructed 1976-79, demolished 2000) followed by the modern DomAquarée (built 2003 to house shops, a Radisson hotel and, since 2006, the museum). Apparently many of the Communist buildings which were demolished contained asbestos? K7L (talk) 02:44, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I seem to remember reading at the DDR Museum that the Palace of Culture was literally painted with asbestos with firehoses or something, in violation of the DDR's own already by-then-weakened environmental laws. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:57, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, asbestos was also the "official" reason (or at least part o f the reason) why the Palast der Republik had to be torn down to make way for a reborn Stadtschloss. I am by no means an apologist of the GDR regime, but I find this way of dealing with history shameful and a bit embarrassing. I think tearing down the original Stadtschloss (the GDR claimed it was too damaged by the war, but that was a face saving lie in 1950) was a mistake, but tearing down the Palast der Republik was also a mistake. And not because the building was particularly pretty. At any rate, asbestos which was commonly used in East and West was used on a wider scale and to a later date, especially the (apparently extra-dangerous) Spritzasbest (outlawed in West Germany in 1979) which was more or less sprayed onto surfaces (sometimes with workers smoking instead of wearing respiratory protection of any kind). Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:11, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

East-Berlin or East Berlin?[edit]

I recall that we referred to East Berlin and West Berlin in the U.S., with no hyphens. Should we care about that? Also, I think that hyphens weren't used in British English, either. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:17, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am not sure about the terms in English, but in German the used terms had political significance and you could usually guess the political sympathies of any given author by the term used. Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:28, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
English doesn't usually hyphenate city names, unless something is actually two cities (Windsor-Detroit style). As an exception, names of French-language origin may be prone to hyphenation (like Trois-Rivières or Rivière-du-Loup). I doubt we'd hyphenate East Berlin. Likewise, it's Apple Valley and not "Apple-Valley" although the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul are hyphenated. K7L (talk) 14:06, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Background on en-WP. English language usage isn't even mentioned with a single word. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:13, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I remember how West Berlin and East Berlin were referred to in the U.S. media. I was already 24 years old in 1989, so this is not stuff I had to do historical research on. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:14, 13 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"East Berlin" does not take a hyphen in English. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:37, 13 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Feel free to move, then. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:57, 13 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use of yards[edit]

Is there any good reason to use measurements in "yards"? I think meters are more accurate and better understood, wouldn't you? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:01, 12 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:13, 13 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So should someone edit this? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:36, 16 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:41, 16 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This is (as others have said) reading like a genuine article, and I've learnt some things that I didn't know preivously ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:21, 15 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, it's fantastic to see how well this is coming together. And we still have more than two weeks left to work on it! PerryPlanet (talk) 16:36, 15 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In relation to the TV Tower[edit]

"... It is visible throughout town, but you can go up to have a look. ..." which is in complete contrast to Location 23 in London of the same period. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 23:55, 15 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]