“As a child, you love what you know. Not what grown-ups or strangers think is beautiful; no, you simply love what you know. You’re glad to know something. And this gladness sinks into your bones, is transformed into a feeling of being at home. As for me, well, I loved this ugly, purportedly gray East Berlin that had been forgotten by all the world, this Berlin that was familiar to me and that now—at least the part where I grew up—no longer exists.”

We’re out until January 5, but we’re revisiting some of our favorite pieces from 2014 while we’re away. Check out this post on a childhood in East Berlin, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and othersWe hope you enjoy—and have a happy New Year! 

12 September 1990: The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany is signed in Moscow.

Alright kiddos, so today is the day that the “Treaty with the stupid long name” was signed that was basically East and West Germany sat down with the former Allied powers and were like “bro srsly that shit ended like in 1945 IT’S TIME TO CUT THE CORD OKAY”

Basically, throughout the entire Cold War, the “German Question” was something pressing that every now and then all the nations would together and be like “hey guys you think we should try and like unify germany now that they’re not like nazis or whatever rofl”

and the other nations would be like “Oh shit we have to do that don’t we?”

but then the United States or the Soviet Union or France or whatever would do something that was widely regarded as “a dick move” and the rest of the world would then take care of that, giving Germany the short end of the stick.

But then of course you had the Soviet Union off in the corner, holding on to East Germany, and any time someone was like “Hey, USSR, think you could like, I don’t know, grant GDR at least a *little* bit of independence? You know? For the good of all?” it was just like

Cool so on 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall was breached when the people of East Berlin decided fuck this en masse and everyone was like “oh well look at the time, it’s half past REUNIFICATION, MOTHERFUCKERS, LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN”

So today was when East and West Germany got together in 1990 and gave the collective middle finger to France, United States, Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom via legal routes, a treaty, where the former Allied Powers signed away any rights they had to East and West Germany and Berlin.

The treaty outlined that Germany would officially become fully sovereign on 15 March 1991 with Berlin as it’s capital. There were some other things involved, such as Germany couldn’t make any future territorial claims and had to limit their combined military strength 370,000 personnel.

But whatever, right? A happy ending for all. The former Allied powers stepped back and East and West were able to bro-fist their way into reunification, several weeks later on 3 October.

April 30, 1975 - The liberation of Saigon by the Vietnamese National Liberation Front sends the U.S. military and its puppets fleeing.

The NLF victory ended the imperialist war, established socialism and reunified the Vietnamese people. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the late leader of the revolution.


In Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova, almost 30.000 people marched for the reunification of Romania and Moldova. Without taking a position on the matter, we share this message because a lot of media in Moldova are in Russian hands and they censor the protests. We are against censorship. Always. 

Long live Moldova, in a way the Moldovans prefer. Romania is with you, brother. 

Leipzig in Sachsen, Eastern Germany, pop. 530,000, is located 150 km south of Berlin. It has been a trade city since the time of the Holy Roman Empire, sitting at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, 2 important Medieval trade routes. At one time, it was one of the major European centers of learning and culture in fields like music and publishing. After WW2, it became a major urban center within the DDR (German Democratic Republic), but its cultural and economic importance declined, despite East Germany being the richest economy in the Soviet Bloc. Leipzig later played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. Since the Reunification, it has undergone significant change with the restoration of historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. Leipzig today is an economic center, has a prominent opera house and one of the most modern zoos in Europe.

“I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems
I’ve got to open my eyes to everything
Without a thought, without a voice, without a soul

Call my name and save me from the dark,

Save me from the nothing I’ve become

Frozen inside without your touch
Without your love, darling

My spirit’s sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there and lead it back home

You can’t just leave me
Breathe into me and make me real, bring me to life”


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ICWA expressly instructed that each state was required to undertake all reasonably available active efforts to reunify any Native child with their family, unless that state actively proved to an independent judicial magistrate that there was a good cause to refrain from doing so.

Instead of improving reunification outcomes, between 1999 and 2012, reunification rates for Indian children in South Dakota actually plummeted from 81 percent to 48 percent.

We must put a stop to this unlawful practice because the Lakota children need to be raised around their culture and their loving family members. If Native children continue to be removed from their families and communities at such a staggering rate, it will be a death sentence for their culture and values.

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Just dropped Jacket off for a weekend with her mom and subsequently spent an hour in a conference room crying so hard I thought I might suffocate.

I held it together while the case workers and I tried to meet briefly with her mom in order to share basic information like bed time, favorite blanky, ect. Jacket’s mom refused, or was just unable, to stop shouting to listen.

Jacket completely shut down and the case worker asked her mom to look at her daughter because her yelling was upsetting her. Jacket’s mom tried to refuse to even take the suitcase home that I kept emphasizing Jacket packed all by herself. She also ademently denied that Jacket wears pull ups to bed.

The moment Jacket’s mom stormed out pulling Jacket’s hand I asked to say goodbye. “I’ll see you Sunday sweetie” and Jacket stood frozen.

I went back to the conference room to hide my tears.

Should be writing my essay on Imperial Japan, but....

I feel like blogging about my day. :D Particularly, my meeting with my professor. It kinda got to me.

So a couple weeks ago, I asked a professor that taught one of my Asian poli-sci classes if he needed a research assistant. Lucky me, he’s gonna write a book and needs does need a student to help him find info about North Korean-US security relations since 1991. Oh. My. Goodness. Awesome. I accepted it on the spot.

Yeah, to the majority of the tumblr-verse this is epically lame. Sorry, I’m not going to be going to NYC, Paris, or Rome taking cool pictures, edit them on photoshop, and then attach lame captions to them so I can get tumblr-famous off of my cool introspectivity. SAWREE!

For me, I could read about international politics and American foreign policy all day. It’s just fantastically captivating stuff. It’s like picking the brains of the entire world. Why do things work the way they do? Every country and culture has a story and the grimy, dirty, deceitful (seldom pleasant) ways we arrived at our current political statuses intrigue me. I won’t go on, but just know this: international security and diplomacy = my thang, gurl.

So. I’m at my second weekly-ish meeting with my professor to report to him all the wonderful things I found on the interwebz so far. We start discussing more in-depth stuff about the US-DPRK (North Korea)-ROK (South Korea) relations and where it can go. My professor is originally from South Korea (I think he’s emigrated, but not sure), so toward the end of the meeting I look to him and ask:

So we know what the US thinks about the DPRK, that it’s defunct. It will fail and soon. Maybe they’ll go on for a little longer with China’s or South Korea’s help, but what do YOU think? You think they’ll fail?

Prof: I hope so. It’s awful over there. There’s no freedom, no human rights. Oh yes, they will fail eventually. Think about all the people that have suffered–ARE suffering. I hope so.
Me: And you think they should reunify with South Korea?
Prof: Of COURSE. Absolutely, they should reconcile, reunify, and reemerge together as a nation–wait, do you know how Korea was divided?
Me: Yeah, I know some American army men just drew a line on the map, like with Vietnam. Right after the War (WWII).
Prof: Yes. Exactly. Take out __’s book. Page 186.
Me: Oh, I’ve read it already, but I’ll mark the page for future reference.
Prof: Read it again.
Me: Okay *pause*
Prof: Read it now.
Me: Oh! Sure, okay. *starts to read*
Prof: Aloud.
Me: Heh…my bad.

“The Division of North Korea. In the days just before the Koreans heard the voice of Emperor Hirohito for the first time, broadcasting Japan’s surrender and Korea’s liberation on August 15, 1945, John J. McCloy of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC) directed two young colonels, Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel, to withdraw to an adjoining room and find a place to divide Korea. It was around midnight on August 10-11, the atomic bombs had been dropped, the Soviet Red Army had entered the Pacific War, and American planners were rushing to arrange the Japanese surrender throughout the region. Given thirty minutes to do so, Rusk and Bonesteel looked at a map and chose the thirty-eighth parallel because it "would place the capital city in the American zone”; although the line was “further north than could be realistically reached…in the event of Soviet disagreement,” the Soviets made no objections–which “some-what surprised” Rusk. General Douglas MacArthur, the hero of the Pacific campaigns, issued General Order Number One for the Japanese surrender on August 15, including in it (and thus making public) the thirty-eighth parallel decision. The Russians accepted in silence this division into spheres, while demanding a Russian occupation of the northern part of Hokkaido in Japan (which MacArthur refused).

“American officials consulted no Koreans in coming to this decision, nor did they ask the opinions of the British or the Chinese, both of whom were to take part in a planned ‘trusteeship’ for Korea. Instead, the decision was unilateral and hasty.”

Prof: Okay, you can stop there. You see, all the people that have suffered. Imagine. All because of a line someone drew. Thousands and millions of people killed and tortured in horrible military regimes–on both sides.

**At this point, he leaned in a bit from across the desk and I could see his eyes were a little redder (I thought) from being tired.

Prof: It’s devastating. And in the North it is really terrible, so many people starving. Thousands who grew up without families, it’s really chaos.
Me: It’s a good point and all, but the damage that has been done in more than 60 years, it’s hard to be repaired.
Prof: Oh, forever. Yes, this period will make an impact on Korea forever. But, Korea must reunify one day. It is necessary for everyone, it is the right thing for the country.

**And here is when I started to notice my professor wasn’t just tired, but emotional. His eyes were watering. Oh my god, this is awkward. But wow, I didn’t realize that he (and most likely other Koreans) felt so strongly about this. My heart really went out to this guy, and I felt for him. BUT, I didn’t want to see a grown man cry so I tried to end the subject and put the book away.

Me: Yeah, I understand what you mean. I can only hope that one day things will become better for Koreans.


That shit got too real, but I respect my professor a bit more now. It’s not like he’s doing this to make a salary (I mean he is), but a part of him is working for his country(wo)men. His heart really goes out to the people of the North and South, and in his way he hopes to make a difference.

I think in the hearts and minds of a lot of International Relations scholars, we know that eventually the two halves of the Korean Peninsula will become a whole again. Now, only politics (and GDP) separate the Koreans. I just hope when reunification does happen, this professor will still be around to see it.