Harald Zieger Author of ‘Freedom’s Nightmare’: How modern education is like the Berlin Wall

One of the best interviews at this year’s Cincinnati Tea Party was author Harald Zieger who wrote the book, Freedom’s Nightmare, which is about how he escaped communist oppression to come to America. In the book he discusses some of the threats to our current liberties which remind him of his life behind the Iron Curtain. Matt Clark from WAAM radio sat down with Harald at the event and had a fantastic interview with him. Harald actually brought up during the interview something that I have been saying for a long time—American education has been taken over by the state and is intent on programming young people into the goals of statism—and less directly, communism. This is the natural byproduct of a government-run education system which often begins with good intentions—like most things—but quickly becomes a path to Hell. That Hell, is the current state of education in our country and is probably the most alarming aspect of the various facets of modern culture. For Harald Zieger, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain—specifically Soviet controlled East Germany—he has seen all this before which was revealed during this riveting interview with Matt.


Even I am surprised how many people to this day know nothing of the Berlin Wall in Germany or its history which has been lost to academic ideology. The same policies which put up the Berlin Wall so many years ago, just seven years before my birth are happening in America today—only at a much slower rate. The slow rate is quite on purpose so not to shock the world into rejecting the communist plight—as happened in the standoff between West and East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.

The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin.[1] The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls,[2] which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” (German: Antifaschistischer Schutzwall) by GDR authorities, implying that neighbouring West Germany had not been fully de-Nazified.[3] The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the “Wall of Shame“—a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt—while condemning the Wall’s restriction on freedom of movement. Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize the “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

Before the Wall’s erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin, from where they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989, the wall prevented almost all such emigration.[4] During this period, around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall, with an estimated death toll of over 100[5] in and around Berlin, although that claim is disputed.[6]

In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc’s authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.


The reason for the wall was to actually contain the people who were fleeing from East Germany into the West—essentially from communism to capitalism. The race of which the Soviets were attempting to outpace was an erosion of world-wide support of communism by infiltrating the education institutions of all capitalist oriented countries. This is exclusively why there are so many liberals to this day in colleges and drive teacher unions in public schools. But the Soviets were too late. They implemented their plan, and did infiltrate the world’s education institutions but they ran out of other people’s money rather fast and bankrupted themselves. In East Berlin the situation was so dire that people actually risked being shot dead to even have the opportunity to live under capitalism as opposed to communism.   One of those people was Harald Zieger.

A liberal media cannot criticize Zieger’s experiences as blind rhetoric because unlike them, Harald actually lived through these hard times, so he is a unique authority on the subject in historical context. And Zieger says in his interview that the education system in America today is dangerously close to what the Soviets where using against their people in the times of the Berlin Wall. The fate of such education methods and the people under their instruction will be no different—yet progressives believe that if the approach to communism is different—slower, and more globally inclusive, that finally their massive plan of social collectivism will work. They are functioning from the same level of ignorance that the idiots who put up the Berlin Wall were functioning under. Their belief is that if capitalism is destroyed or people are denied access to “capitalist greed” then communism for the good of the people will be able to come into bloom. Yet if such a thing worked so well, it would be able to compete with capitalism and clearly in Berlin it wasn’t even close. Just a few years after World War II West Germany was thriving, while the Soviet controlled East Berlin was a hollowed out city that lacked any kind of economic vibrancy. The advocates of communism as they do today, believe that if people were forced into communism away from capitalism that all people would benefit. It’s the same foolish notion that believed that a giant wall would actually contain people from wanting to leave one political ideology for another. One represented oppression and overly micromanaged government control of everything—the other was freedom, and economic stimulation driven by human desire. The two mentalities couldn’t be further apart from each other and there isn’t any middle ground between the two—as many progressive believe today—when they speak of a “managed economy.”Ayn Rand

Today there isn’t a Berlin Wall, but there is a deep divide in America—there are people who believe in communism and people who believe in capitalism. They call both different names today than they did in the times of the Berlin Wall, but the differences are essentially the same. Communists otherwise known as progressives still believe that if they gain control of the media, the education system and the money supply that they can suppress the human desire for freedom. But they can’t. People just like Harald Zieger fled from East Germany into West Germany in search of freedom and opportunity. People still flee the government at every opportunity—and they always will no matter how many laws are created, or how much the government thinks it can tamper with an economy. The bottom line between capitalism and communism is one of initiative. Communism strives to control initiative, where capitalism rewards it. And there is nothing academia can do to alleviate that essential human trait—even though they have tried. The horror stories discussed by Harald Zieger actually happened, and are happening right now—only differently. Today the wall isn’t so easy to see, but the mentality is still present—and the intentions of the communists are just as real, and dangerous. They can be seen most effectively at your local public school. It is there where the modern Berlin Wall is built brick by brick—child by child—labor union by labor union consuming tax payer money in a war against private property that is fueled by a hatred of capitalism. It is happening not in some far away land from a different time—but in our own back yards, to our children, and our very lives.

Rich Hoffman