A review of Drawn to Freedom

It is a most happy memory that when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Leonard Bern­stein was there to celebrate with Beet­hoven's Ninth Symphony. It will be remembered that when the great chorus sang Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," it did not voice the familiar "Freude, Freude" ("joy, joy") but instead changed the words to "Freiheit, Freiheit" ("freedom, freedom").

In the shadow of the fallen wall, freedom was the compelling theme. In light of the unexpected, almost inexplicable emancipation from barbaric wounding by the East German government, there was so much to celebrate, and everyone understood the new phrasing.

That simple, direct, unambiguous mo­ment, however, is not the norm for thinking about freedom.


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