Thursday, July 19, 2018
What was it like to be a visitor in a a country where Putin was once a KGB officer
A powerful post by my daughter Tanya Muftic in comment about travel guru Rick Steves's Facebook posting.:
When I read this exceptional post, I am reminded how glad I am that I have lived abroad and studied history. I was fortunate to study at Heidelberg University and was a Fulbright scholar in Vienna, Austria. I also traveled extensively behind the Iron Curtain in the 1980’s.
I don’t talk about my experience in East Germany much in 1983. It brings back horrible memories. But, it has shaped my world view. I was detained in DDR at a checkpoint in Berlin. Strip searched, interrogated, and barred from entering the country again (like I ever wanted to). My crime? I don’t really know. I know that I got asked about each entry in my address book. I was grilled for hours on why I spoke German, Croatian, French, and Spanish. I was yelled at and left alone in a room for hours with no idea what was happening. In my backpack I had a copy of Time magazine. That was a federal offense. I was eventually driven to the wall and escorted by Stasi to the border. Then I was forced to walk into West Berlin. I was crying the whole time. I was so afraid to speak of it. I think I became paranoid and always looked over my shoulder when in Germany.
The comments posted by Americans who refuse to take one of his tours should be ashamed. Why travel if you cannot open your mind? They are white privileged rich people is my only explanation for such ignorance. When our POTUS is the ugly American.. well you get my point.
We need to know the dark side of history. Rick Steve’s... I personally wouldn’t take one of your tours with such white privileged Trump supporters. I travel on my own. I am woke. I thank you for your comments.