tv Reel America The Road to the Wall - 1962 CSPAN August 14, 2018 7:27pm-8:04pm EDT
watch oral history, sunday at 10 am eastern on american history tv on c-span three. >> next on real america, from 1962 the road to the wall narrated by actor james cagney, the u. s. army film presents a critical history of soviet communism beginning with the 1905 failed revolution after the construction of the berlin wall. this half-hour film was nominated for a 1963 short subject documentary academy award.
>>@the roads in, the wall. >> these are the people who move along the road, some walk, some ride, some are --, some are barefoot. some are so young they must be carried, or so old like the hundreds of millions who take the road some do so willingly. others hope that the road leads rest for the hungry, peace for the weary and land for the landless. some protest openly it does not matter, some are born on the road, many will die along the way. january 1959 this road
exist in the mind of a 19th century philosopher and scholar, karl marx. he maintains the system that he calls communism can a worker and a former avoid starvation and exploitation. we declare openly that he writes, our end can only be obtained by the force of the overthrow of all existing social conditions. thus the road begins. many who walk the road know the origins well, many do not. some think it must be known by the road by those who do not travel it. this is a one-way street. signs posted along the way do not describe the true destination. nearly everyone who steps foot on this road goes all the way to the end. there are few exits, only difficult dangerous escapes. this man is a resident of east
berlin. his right to free passage to west berlin is guaranteed by international agreement, on august 13, 1961, this ride was set aside. to cross into west berlin he has to swim the canal that at one point divides the zones. upon reaching the western bank he takes his first few steps into freedom and was slightly -- quickly shot down by fire -- gunfire. >> to know why he was shot down across an artificial border by a man who bore him no personal malice, we must look at the road. we must go back a long it many miles and many years. back from berlin 1961 two havana 1959, to budapest 1956, -- 1940, -- 1921.
st. petersburg czarist russia, january 22, 1905, under the czar nicholas the second was -- by a government with absolute power. these people who represent st. petersburg are not here to protect against this -- but to appeal to the autocrat under the leadership of a priest, father -- they have come to -- present a position to the czar. >> we the workingmen and inhabitants of st. petersburg come to the czar for defense. >> one quarter of 1 million people stand before the palace but the impact is not there. nor is it his will that the petition be received. instead -- the czar nicholas
the second my hypocrisy will remain unchanged. >> we no longer have a czar long live freedom. >>the bearded young man is --. >>long live the revolutionary proletariat. >>bizarre will never be --, he does not even look the part. he is busy. busy with elaborate ceremonies that no longer interest hungry people. busy with his family, including his son a hemophiliac who is kept alive according to his mother by the powers of gregory --. he is a holy man he said so himself.
>>world war i may be held in the west, it is pure hell 10 times over for the russians. for them no glamour, no airplanes, divisions without artillery, companies without rifles. rifles without bullets. russian casualties exceed the total casualties of the germans. at home starvation and poverty exceeding previous russian experiences. finally march 1917 a demonstration and st. petersburg starts over a simple demand for higher bread rations. it gets out of hand and it
brings in a new demand. bizarre reacts in customary fashion he turns his troops a loose on demonstrators but something goes wrong. the army joins the people. the czar falls, a young lawyer administered justice to the government in which many parties are represented. >> the revolution belongs to the people. i propose to defended against any attack either from the left or the right. >> he arrested the czar and his family and announced that free elections should be held. political prisoners are freed. but in a country without experience and self-government, elements of all shades struggle to convince hungry people that their particular role leads to salvation. the war is unpopular. when it becomes clear that he aims to continue it the german general arranges for the return in a --
where in exile by the government. he arrived a month later from canada. summer 1917 he becomes the provisional government and the claims -- claims russia a republic. equal rights for women. >> a democratic republic more free under -- than any other country in the world. >>but in november he and leaders called the soviet for the destruction of the republic. >> political questions are decided by voting, as a matter of fact they are decided by
war. >>-- the railroad station, telegraph lines, government offices and declared themselves indignant. >>this is the russia version of the building of that wall. -- the all russian boy opening the gate under fire. the interesting thing about this battle is that it never happened. in actual fact the cadets defending the palace surrendered when it was pointed out that -- was an easy range of a cruiser. it made a nice picture. the real violence comes later on november 25 the election kerensky called as held under -- to their amazement lost, he is the one. the assembly elected -- under the red army. he chooses for
time to turn over the power to the soviets but he finally leaves the building in disorder. the following day a few thousand citizens gather outside the building to protest against the dismissal of the assembly they have elected and probably shot down by rifle fire by the red army. >> citizens of the soviet union scrambled, but not since november 1917 has more than one name for office appeared on the ballot. the assembly never reconvenes. power passes to the soviet -- controls and their to the counsel of commissars were linens power is absolute. >> this is the dictatorship of the proletariat. it was power and one by violence. power that is unrestricted by --
>> lenon makes peace with the germans and now a genuine civil war breaks out. before it ends the white russians rebel against the red. allied troops fight to keep russia in the war. -- bizarre is executed and many secret police goose become --. -- disappearance without explanation all become routine. >>there is few too little ruthlessness. not because we lacked determination but because we do not know how to capture enough profiteers --, s. >>however many they capture they miss one. on august 30, 1918 a young lady
takes a shot at lenin. her motives are unknown. lenin is only slightly wounded. that night in moscow alone anti-lenin are executed on suspicion of being associated with --. the signs posted along the road read peace, freedom and bread. because they understood that freedom and bread could happen when peace was obtained they fought and won a blood a civil war. on march 7, 1921 they are asking for freedom and bread. finally at 6:45 in the evening, commander of the red army who ordered the slaughter gives the only explanation.
it was necessary. >> lenin and trotsky are in power. they now form the political police. to check on the old gpu -- the chief is joseph -- named stalin. he disputes his position as second-in-command. in this struggle --, city leader of moscow who could make you a judge and send it to siberia. now with the civil war won -- at of necessity they start a new economic policy.
-- the production of consumer goods but the state maintains control of heavy industry. even private enterprise is committed two new words, american aid entered the russia vocabulary. by march 1922 the american relief administration under herbert hoover is feeding 10 million russians. in march 1923, lennon suffers a stroke. the following january he is dead.
stalin and -- then stalin turns to his associates and a new economic policy. in its place come three successive five year plans all designed to emphasize productive capacity especially --. from 1928 through 1941 russia industrial capacity rises nearly 300 percent. hydroelectric output is up nearly 800 percent. agricultural production however lags and housing --. if you are an average russian this means more work, not enough to eat and less and less living space per family. if you do not work hard enough or if you complain you have plenty of trains to siberia
where many hydroelectric dams are being built. on the other hand, if you work hard you might become a -- all you have to do is break the -- get a metal and a small wage increase. that is better than a quick trip to the reindeer country. these are also the years of the great execution call -- in honor of stalin's execution --. how many people are permanently removed from circulation nobody knows. in some provinces -- providences almost 4 percent. >>[ indiscernible ] who helped stalin were quickly disposed of. for this and related activities well over half of the communist leadership at thousands of lesser officials vanish as do most of the army officers.
the very few victims are given trial. some of the trials are remarkable. for example defendants are convicted of spying in 1936 in copenhagen. in actual fact in 1936 the hotel was no longer in business. the next case, 1938 -- together with many judges operators and the like. -- near mexico city august 20, 1940, a young man comes calling on the secretary and -- into an old man's skull. -- is dead. in the west meanwhile another dictatorship arose. in order to world conquest
complete with a leader, secret police and cattle car that carried men and women to their grave or worse. >> this is the time for a popular front. all common cords against the fascist are welcome, even as the pickets marsh the populace is changing. august 23, 1939 -- for the russians and -- for the germans undertake to divide the world between them. on september 1 eight days after the -- german troops lost the polish -- and the world learned
the meaning of the german word blitzkrieg. on september 17 the red army crosses poland's frontier. on october 5 poland disappeared . german and russian shake hands . the scum of the earth, i believe, the bloodiest -- of the workers i presume. >> germany gets more from the pack then help with the dismemberment of poland. germans are also given a neighbor-based and vast amounts of war materials. french communist sabotage the electrical system on french fighter planes.
with the fall of france hitler decide to -- by invading the territory of his recent partner, russia. >>the turning point of the german invasion in russia comes that -- which was then called stalingrad. when the war in russia acquires as the spoil of war eastern poland, --, lavinia, east prussia, and portions of finland. -- with the when you and estonia are incorporated as soviet republics and much of the native population is deported.
russia zones of occupation in the final peace treaty in germany, austria and north korea. the russians have the right to maintain barracks in poland, hungary, romania and bulgaria. how did we get from here to there? to the present situation ? with an iron curtain dividing europe and communist outpost throughout much of the world? what is the secret of communism postwar expansion? what message do they use? the answer is they used them all . occupying troops and political domination of poland romania and hungry. those occupations become zones of influence and control in east germany and north korea. along with the political a psychological effort economic aid and trade agreements help to spread this influence to africa and the middle east. -- wherever possible.
when it is needed force is used. the expulsion from the mainland of the chinese national -- complete with artillery, tanks, infantry and -- casualty and refugees. -- an important technique of communist conquest. chuckles of ocular in 1948 is an established democracy in eastern europe. conservative elements reside in --, communist deputies pounded --. police brutality in putting down riots in charge and the communist takeover the police. >>on february 25 informed that
the alternative is civil war and aware of unmistakable threat of invasion from the soviet union president -- excepts the communist --. the country's greatest hero will not go along and he remains in a foreign office. two weeks later his dead body is discovered. whether he was murdered or killed himself it is not known to this day. >>three months later a constitution soviet style is adopted by parliament. -- refused to sign it and is moved from office. before the year is over, czechoslovakia -- is dead. eastern europe in the words of
winston churchill promised that -- and iron curtain has descended across the continent. behind that line by all the capitals of the aji states of central and eastern europe, behind the iron curtain they were easy to express contentment -- and difficult and dangerous. -- in east germany and 1953 and in 1956 -- augmented by russian soldiers. in poland concessions are made so that poland today although indisputably communist limits the degree of freedom unheard of and other i encourage her he
-- iron curtain countries. poland criticized the government decisions if they do so discretely. and occasional political joke is allowed but loud laughter is not recommended. you might disturb your neighbor and he might be the law. budapest in october 1956, these demonstrators are not anti- communist, in fact many of them are hungarian students are communist to feel that as hungarians they have the inalienable right to determine how hungarian communism should be administered. on october 24 local parties have decided enough is enough. in the interest of law and order, their law and their order direct police to fire into the crowd. the crowd does not go away even when russia garrison troops joined the police. faced by an overwhelming mob the russians make a strategic withdrawal leaving the hungarian police to be slaughtered by their own countrymen. in november -- was a communist
but a hungarian communist speaking as the prime minister declares hungry neutral between russia and the west. the russians hesitate, hungarians celebrate. hesitation and celebration ends soon. an entire russia army invades hungry and crushes the result -- revolt. on june 1719 for team -- june 17 1950 the execution is announced. for many cubans the years before 1958 were hard as in many other countries the cubans rarely owned the land they work hard to tell. life in the city sims was also -- city slums was also depressing. most of these poor cubans the proletariat -- suffered almost
as if they were under fair -- unaware there was another way to live. when fidel castro was ready to come out of -- the supporters faced -- but in the middle class. ironically it is -- who performed the advanced guard revolution. when the pied piper seeks to broaden -- the poor are there to listen. many believe -- the revolution is a success. castro brother is a self- proclaimed communist and his close associate had participated in the unsuccessful revolution and guatemala. few cubans even in the middle class believe that fidel castro would ever turn communist. at first he promises free elections, he acknowledges many of the traditional rights of
citizens and the established institutions of government. but the elections never take place. the government quickly becomes an instrument of coercion and the takeover is a success. >>berlin 1961, our road has almost reached the present. why have the russians the wall? why are all of them denied the right and guaranteeing them to pass freely from zone to zone with in berlin? the communist explanation is according to them west berlin was the base for intrigue and
imperialist assault on east berlin and east germany where a man has a chance to enjoy the finer things in life. -- was going the other way east to west and so has every other casualty at the wall. no one can be sure of the reason. prior to the erection of the wall almost anyone could get into east germany and reach west berlin -- and many did. once and west berlin you are outside the iron curtain the free passage between east and west berlin was the only gap in the iron curtain. the russians sealed it. the wall is a solid
>>and the wall remains. it stands in berlin today. it stands and will stands >>someday according to the builder it will surround not the world but the moon, the stars, outer space, the universe , their objective is clear and so is hours. they intend to put the world on their road. we intend that the world shall be free. each man and each country can choose the road that suits them best. to achieve our objective we need above all to understand, each new threat must be met force for force as in korea. certain military action with
regular history programming we will look at the murder of one of boston's richest men. paul collins specializes in 19th-century crimes. funding out-of-date during our look at the presidency, harry truman's russia policy which became known as the cold war. next, from our series, 1968, america in turmoil. we look at the cold war and the race to the moon.
as 1968 came to a close, the apollo 8 mission took three astronauts into orbit for the first time. the life christmas eve podcast -- broadcast from genesis was watched worldwide. our guest is elizabeth cobbs, historian and documentary film maker. also mark kramer, program director of harvard university's project on cold war studies. december 21, 1968, the shortest day of the year. perhaps one of the longest in the flow of history. >> we are still go at this time. t -15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, nine . we have ignition sequence start. the engines are on.