Protecting the U.S. from Mexican migrants is different than—as was the case in East Germany—stopping their own people from going to the West or shooting them when they attempt to escape.
There are parallels that come to mind. And which, on second thought, turn out to be absurd. One of these absurdities is an event scheduled this Friday, where well-meaning people will build a wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with a portrait of Donald Trump on it, which they then want to bring down again.
But the two things are just as unrelated as Trump and a Homme de Lettres, even if his name is on bestsellers written by other people. People who pretend there are more parallels than the mere concept of a wall are doing two things: they trivialize the old construction and they distort the planned project.
The Berlin Wall and the entire inner German border were never intended to protect East Germany from Western intruders, despite the Socialist Unity Party of Germany’s propagandist synonym: "Antifascist Protective Wall." The aim was simply to incarcerate their "own" people.
Whoever tried to escape was killed. With guns, mines, automatic guns and the waves of the Baltic for those who tried to swim around the wall. One thousand and eight people died due to the East Germany border regime, according to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft 13. August (13 August Consortium).
Trump's wall would be too expensive, yet not insurmountable.
You don't have to like Trump to see the huge differences between the Berlin Wall and his pipe dream of a wall along the Mexican border. The presidential candidate doesn't want to install SM-70 spring guns or bury mines, so far as is known.
This is how Trump wants to crack down on illegal immigrants.
If Donald Trump is elected as the U.S. president, he will announce strict actions against immigrants without green cards. People who don't leave voluntarily will be deported.
There is a key difference: Trump does not want to lock up Americans, but instead wants to make it impossible for non-Americans to enter the U.S. illegally. The idea is absurd in its mixture of hubris and election calculations, and it reveals a paranoia that is unworthy of a world power.
Trump's wall would be too expensive but not insurmountable, and it would give the U.S., traditionally a country of immigrants, an ugly face.
However, it isn't a crime to reinforce an already fixed border that is illegal to cross without approval. This goes for the U.S. as well as Europe.