Greetings to everyone that has taken the time to stop by and peruse this blog. It complements a podcast a podcast of the same name. My name is Chad Czajkowski. In 1986, at the impressionable age of 14, my family I visited East Berlin while we were living in Europe. From the moment we crossed Checkpoint Charlie, I felt as though I had stepped on another planet. As we walked along Friedrichstrasse, I was struck by the brightly painted facades of the buildings that lined the streets. The Germans at first seemed relatively normal, but nothing could have been further from the truth. My parents were thankfully very adventurous at the time and we decided to walk off the main street and see how things really were. Needless to say, those facades quickly disappeared and were replaced with decayed walls and rusty balconies. Here, the citizens walked with their heads down, afraid to make eye contact with us “Westerners”. Not long after we made our detour, we were followed by two men in suits, who I would later find out were Stazi, government agents so feared that even the KGB disapproved of some of their methods of control. At the time, I knew nothing of this, but it was that day, the seed of my discontent was planted. Later in life, I began studying Russian and the Soviet Union and eventually lived there for a year and half in 1995. I met many beautiful and caring people, but I also witness how damaged they had become from living under such an oppressive system of control.
Now, 25 years after my visit to East Berlin, I see an upgraded form of Soviet control rearing its ugly head in this country and I am frightened for the future. This blog, along with the podcast, is my small, but significant attempt to wake up people to the prison that we are all in. Time is running out and soon our history will go down into Orwell’s “memory hole”.