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STC #124 - It was the summer of sixt.., er, eighty-nine.

  1. Ronini SHIT Taste Central

    You may have noticed that STC #124 is heavily focused on the lyrics, so I decided to provide a rough translation for you. The specific story told in Kettcar's song might be fictional, as far as I am able to tell. But many families, some I know personally, fled the socialist GDR for the West, one route being through Hungary and Austria, Hungary being one of the few countries people in the GDR were allowed to travel to before the Fall of the Berlin Wall in late '89.

    Summer of '89 (He cut holes into the fence)

    It was the summer of '89. The 12th of August.
    He started in Hamburg
    in his old sky-blue Ford Granada
    Kassel Mountains, Würzburg, Nuremberg, Linz, Vienna
    he left behind
    The destination was the Burgenland, the Austro-Hungarian border
    In Mattersburg he got the best bolt cutter money could buy
    almost 400 Schilling
    In Mörbisch on the Lake he checked in the Petershof Inn, bought a kebab and waited for the night.
    Shortly after 1am, a knock on the door
    The liaison man gave him a letter
    and left again without a word
    He memorised the letter and set off on foot
    down the Ödenburger Straße, past the last streetlights
    and just before the turn onto the field path to the right and all the way to the end
    the last hundred meters on through the tall grass
    into the small grove
    Wait for the 3.30am border patrol
    flashlight out: three times short, twice long
    and then on the clearing he saw them
    They came

    It was the summer of '89, a flight at early dawn,
    he was the guy sneaking through the night, cutting holes into the fence
    At a Hungarian border
    At the first light of day
    Only a bolt cutter needed
    for holes in the fence
    in the summer of '89

    When they were through the fence
    they ran as quickly as the children allowed
    to the first streetlights
    14 people, three families
    No champagne popping, no cheerful confetti shower
    only great relief and even greater exhaustion
    They went together to the bus station
    sat on the benches
    and waited for the 6.22am bus to Vienna
    They hardly spoke because of their exhaustion
    only once a child asked him what the text on his Dead Kennedys T-shirt meant
    When the bus arrived on time he gave one father his map of Vienna
    with the circled address of the German embassy
    He divided his last Schillings between the three families
    and wished them all a good life
    They thanked him under tears again and again for everything
    in a language and dialect he hardly understood
    He suspected at the time that it was Saxon

    It was the summer of '89...

    Back in Hamburg, the big on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand discussion
    around the kitchen table of the shared flat with his friends
    On the one hand, what he did had of course been well intended
    because of the families and all that
    But on the other hand, German reunification would be -
    and that's what events in recent weeks pointed towards - a big mistake
    Germany should never again form a powerhouse in the centre of Europe
    and such assistance for fleeing GDR citizens
    would only help to further destabilise the situation
    "So, as we said, what you did was humanly understandable but nonetheless wrong"
    He slammed his hand on the table
    and said as softly as was able to:
    "You know that is bullshit
    They leave everything behind, they flee and maybe..."
    He paused briefly and thought
    if he should really say the next sentence.
    But not a word more
    Complete silence set in
    The others exchanged glances, some smiled furtively
    somebody even put their hand softly on his shoulder
    The seconds passed
    He got up, left the room
    Jacket, door, stairwell, air
    He took his old Ford Granada
    and was never seen again
    The rest is history.

    It was the summer of '89, a flight at early dawn
    It was the summer of '89, and he cut holes into the fence
    They came for kiwis and bananas
    for Constitution and free elections
    for real estate without value
    They came for Udo Lindenberg
    for the Volkswagen with seven seats
    for the bad jokes about East Germans
    They came for travels around the world
    for benefits and welcome money
    They came for sayings about “superior West Germans”
    for the new fitted kitchen.
    And precisely for this dream
    he cut holes into the fence.
  2. sounds like a bryan adams rip off :D
    Ronini likes this.

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