It’s 1988, and the eastern bloc is coming apart at the seams. Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia are all inching toward freedom. East Germany, though, clings to a rigid and repressive system built on fear and a wide ranging network of informers.
Maike Neustadt lives in East Berlin. She watches and then joins the movement toward freedom that eventually leads to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
General Helmut Straussman watches Maike from his high position in the secret police, known as the Stasi. He sees his world crumbling and seeks to protect her from her own actions and to protect the system he’s been instrumental in maintaining.
“Dancing on the Wall” provides a window on the turbulent year leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Told from two radically different perspectives, the events of that crucial time come alive through the fears, the mistakes, and the aspirations of Maike and Helmut.
Dancing on the Wall is filled with historical scenes, events, and images. These web links can help to bring this era to life by providing photographs, videos, and articles about life in East Germany.
Movies about East Germany and the Cold War. There are several movies that offer glimpses of life in East Germany. All are fiction, but still evocative. My favorite is “The Lives of Others” but if you want to immerse yourself in the subject, watch them all.
Documentaries about the Cold War. There are also movies worth watching that can enrich perspectives on the Cold War and Berlin.
Rabbits a la Berlin. A documentary about wild rabbits living in the Death Strip of Berlin.
Links to web resources about East Germany can be found here.