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August 13, 2014 8:33 AM Daylight Video

By Ed Kilgore

Construction of the Berlin Wall began 55 years ago today. The wall and the city it divided became highly symbolic of a lot of political and cultural issues beyond its brutal reality, some hearkening back to Berlin’s pre-Nazi Weimar reputation as a place on the edge of catastrophe.

We’ll begin with this evocative performance of Lou Reed’s “Berlin” in Paris in 1972, with John Cale on the piano and Nico looking on.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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