Love in German

$ 25.00

Love in German is pronounced: lee-buh

100% Cotton American Apparel Tee

front: 1-color screen print

Made in the USA.

 

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The Details:  

First off, "Liebe" means "love" in German.

The Berlin Wall fell in November 9th, 1989 and this shirt celebrates the graffiti/art on the western side of the Wall and a couple famous stories. 

Look at the bottom right image, where the person is pasting a "Nov 9" poster on the spray can: The shadow of the can/person is an upside-down Statue of Liberty. It represents both the "American/European influence" in West Germany but also the idea of "freedom". The West German governments were more lenient with artists making a mark on the wall, protesting the barrier between a unified Germany. One of the most prevalent artist on the wall was a guy named "Indiano." Depicted on the shirt is some of his original artwork (see the "Act up!" face in the top right image? That's Indiano. His stuff was iconic of the "Berlin Wall".)

See the middle left image: The barbed wire turns into butterflies as the wall crumbles across the shirt.

In the bottom left image are the words "ich bin ein berliner” from a famous speech by JFK. It means "I am a Berlin citizen." Though Germans understood the words, a "Berliner" would have never said it like he did- he said it metaphorically and too proper. Germans jokingly said he called himself a type of jelly donut, also called a "Berliner." Hence, on the shirt, is a donut with sprinkles next to the words....

I think the most serious things on the shirt are the words "Hilfe, Hilfe, Hilfe" on the spray can, above the "ich bin ein berliner." Hilfe means "help" in German. They were the last words of a 18 year-old kid named Peter Fetcher who I learned about while researching the shirt. Soon after it was built, people started crossing the Wall to escape East Germany. Peter became one of the first casualties after being shot attempting to cross a part of the wall known as "death strip." When he reached the wall, on the western side of the death strip, he was shot in the pelvis and became immobile. He cried "hilfe" for about an hour, slowly dying as hundreds watched, unable to do anything. Neither side wanted to get to close to the border to retrieve Peter and give him medical aid- they were afraid of starting something much larger, like World War 3, or even getting shot themselves.

Also, weirdly enough, November 9th is an important date in German history: in 1918, monarchy ended and Germany was proclaimed a "Free Socialist Republic"; in 1923 Hitler attempted a coup called the "Beer Hall Putsch" and marks the emergence of the Nazi Party; and in 1938 it was "Kristalnacht"- when jewish property was destroyed on a large scale, with 1300 Jews murdered. Well that's the German shirt and all it's history and meaning....