Swim for your life out of the GDR!
Tourist captures people attempting to escape East Berlin

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4 people swim across the Spree to get out of Real Existing Socialism. More -*** 24 Feb 2014 ** I subtitled this video so I could show it to about 3 or 4 friends. I wasn't expecting 400K views and 100+ comments. For the "It wasn't socialism it was communism" crowd Real Existing Socialism is the term used by the GDR leadership itself to describe its society. Communism was an aspiration. Socialism was what they felt they had achieved and "Real Existing Socialism" was regarded as a milestone on the way and proclaimed loudly and widely in the 1960s. The name of the Party ruling the GDR reflected this - the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) "Real Existing Socialism" was was also used extremely ironically by many in the West to describe the awful economic and political situation "next door". I use it in this sense. I did NOT mean to somehow fuel the arguments of those in the United States who feel that Universal Health Care is "creeping socialism" which will lead to another Berlin Wall! A few other things: West Berlin did not belong to West Germany. It was under direct Allied control. The water belonged to the GDR and so did the very edge of the river bank. There is NO WAY that by the late 1980s the GDR soldiers would have shot into the grounds of the Reichstag river bank. Once the escapees were away from the water they were safe.


mikemorr100 : If people are terrified and trying to escape your country, maybe its not them, maybe its you.

Tara Strong : Wow, the feels. Her last words before the end of the video "I hab's geschafft!", an expression of delight and relief: "I made it!"

frank sally : I love right at the end when it hits her that they made it and she freaks out.

kim jørgensen : Amazing. Imagine this is only 25 years ago. 

TheSOlmos : Man, the kinda struggle people have had to go through always makes me realise how much I take my easy life for granted

ComradeRed2020 : I am glad they made it! And I am glad the guards didn't shoot. No one should force you to stay in a country you don't want to stay in.

Miniwolf 567 : My mother and her family tunneled under the Berlin Wall in 1973 because her father was in West Berlin for work Quite interesting.

skoda slov : Any idiot that talks to me how komunizm was great should watch this. Many died escaping from here to Austria too.

ger962 : today you would have 1 person helping and all the other filming.

TheKetsa : And today guys like snowden fly to Russia... Strange world.

John Mcclane : That's intense

Daniel Veazey : I wonder what these people are up to now.

John Barnes : I was in West Berlin in November 1988 and I recall standing in this very spot. Our tour guide told us about this daring escape that had taken place only a few months earlier. What I'd like to know was how they managed to approach so close to the Eastern side of the wall without being spotted. (Especially in broad daylight.) As I recall, there were guard booths on the eastern side designed to keep unauthorized people several hundred meters away from the wall. Either they had some kind of connection that enabled them to get closer or they were just incredibly lucky.

Rob Cockerham : There is something about being in the water which makes you feel protected from gunfire.

BigGreekGeek : A truly shocking video! Made me shiver several times.  This is we we should fight for our rights and freedom! 

Kirk Kelsen : I well remember looking at the Berlin Wall in September 1989, the world's largest jail, totally unaware it was about to fall. It was, the fact of it, deeply disturbing.

ussp38 : wow powerful stuff

Charlie Wolf : That was intense. Thanks for sharing this humbling piece of history. 

serioussam909 : And today flights from France or Germany are treated as domestic flights in Eastern Europe (no passport control or customs). So glad that Russians are no longer ruling over a half of Europe.

Push Back : I never understood the whole concept of holding an entire populace against their will. I can't understand how a guard can have his humanity extracted from him so perfectly as to make him pursue someone and shoot them for trying to get away from a - country. 

Chilltownify : shows the lengths people will go to escape oppression..take note North Korea, etc

kyle riordan : we're going to be asking canada to save us like this soon so i guess i should start getting better at my long distance swimming.

Ana Ghinet : Should be grateful they didn't shoot, regardless of whom they could've shot by mistake. In Romania the guards at Portile de Fier didn't have these moral problems.

Allison A : So powerful. I'm speechless. 

socokid : Through bewilderment and exhaustion, a wide eyed yell of "We've done it!!" by that woman at the end. Imagine that feeling... wow.

PurpleFiiilth : -How did you know they wouldn't shoot? - We didn't

themastertrevor : woah that was intense.

Francis de Vent : Hi there, Could we use this movie for educational purposes? Best regards.

Dan Cooper : East Berlin was nothing like, say, modern Sweden. The US far-right wants to conflate Democratic Socialism with Venezuela and East Germany, the US left very reasonably thinks Sweden is a good model to copy.

noceas : the guys und the riverside shout "get lost" and "you can´t do anything here" to the guards

Marcelo Gotardo Gerber : It seems Cuba nowadays... 

Caitlin Coffey : Does anyone know the name of original owner of this video?

Maurice Zijlstra : woow this was very impressive i got to watch this for school

Lee Lewis : I watch this video often.Socialism it's so great they have to swim for their lives!

Hank Hill : It's incredible how much importance we put on what essentially are imaginary lines. Just being on one side of a river as opposed to the other changed the entire course of those people's lives.

IowaHiker : WOW this is incredible footage; thank you for sharing!

Ping : Antifa wants east germany in all of America and Europe.

Autoreiji : They couldn't shoot because if they would hit people from the West it would be very bad for themselves. Glad they made it. Glad the wall is down for almost 26 years now.

Anton Springford : If this happened in Australia they'd probably put them on a boat and send them back

Praha1979 : wow, I have never seen this before. Tears in my eyes!

greekmarine : soviets would have a great ally if they didnt move east germanys factories and infastructure to their lands and make them pay for reparations.that way their economy would be much better

Moritz Rudolf : This was before 1989.

Etiennette Kist : Hi Timor, is this video available without the subtitles? Clean material? Thank you!

Nemm Damistriv : wow, when was this?

skutt64 : Socialism makes the best, most humane and most happy society. Just look it up, it's facts on paper.

Tropical Magic : Funnier if the guards in the boat also jumped into West Berlin

roboliño schmidt : Oi..well done 😂😂very sophisticated comment

Rajkovic : there is no east anymore to escape to

Angelus Mortem : Anyone, who wants to learn much more about life in the eastern block/communism I'd like to recommend lectures/interviews of KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov, avaliable on YT.