Having recently watched the 2008 film The Baader-Meinhof Complex, I may be starting to get a better understanding of the historical context and meaning of antifa stickers that I’ve found in Berlin during the last five years. There is so much I don’t know (so much!) that I wouldn’t dream of trying to write anything in depth about it now. Christopher Hitchens reviews the film here in his August 17, 2009 article in Vanity Fair (Stickerkitty’s birthday #51).
I’ve also been reading Hans Fallada’s Every Man Dies Alone, which tells the true story of a couple who distributed postcards advocating civil disobedience in various public places in Nazi-controlled Berlin during World War II. Much of the story takes place in the neighborhood in Prenzlauer Berg where I stay when I go there – Greifswalder Strasse, Jablonski Strasse, etc., all a block or two away from the Hotel Greifswald. I’ve figured that Otto and Anna Quangel were in some ways the first “sticker artists” in that part of the world. The story reveals, however, that the postcards had little effect, since most were handed over to authorities upon their discovery. Not so with stickers of today!
To cap it all off, in doing a little research on the film, I learned about something called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon that describes how people find patterns of synchronicity in their everyday worlds. The Best of Wikipedia puts it like this:
“The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon occurs when a person, after having learned some (usually obscure) fact, word, phrase, or other item for the first time, encounters that item again, perhaps several times, shortly after having learned it.”
I can go back to sleep now.