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Thread: Julia Lipnitskaya's FS - Schindler's List ( The Red Coat Effect )

  1. #46
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    In 1992 Katarina Witt gained access to the files that Stasi had kept on her throughout her career. Stasi's main interest was in preventing Witt from defecting. Witt petitioned unsuccessfully to have the files sealed, since they revealed a lot of personal information about her that she did not want to become public. When the files did become open to the public it was revealed that Stasi gave Witt a lot of favors of one sort and another including money. Witt did not protest and seemed to be on friendly terms with the secret police throughout.

    Here is Witt's side of the story, as reported in the United States.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132214

    Here is a report from Great Braitain a few months later.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ccomplice.html

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    I always come to read this thread expecting a discussion about Julia's LP, silly me... it seems like it's the "was Witt a spy" thread now.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    In 1992 Katarina Witt gained access to the files that Stasi had kept on her throughout her career. Stasi's main interest was in preventing Witt from defecting. Witt petitioned unsuccessfully to have the files sealed, since they revealed a lot of personal information about her that she did not want to become public. When the files did become open to the public it was revealed that Stasi gave Witt a lot of favors of one sort and another including money. Witt did not protest and seemed to be on friendly terms with the secret police throughout.

    Here is Witt's side of the story, as reported in the United States.
    Here is the thing, Mathman

    http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132214

    Here is a report from Great Braitain a few months later.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ccomplice.html
    In the ABC News article, Katarina Witt states flatly that she was never a spy for the Stasi:

    "There is nothing to hide … Maybe I am ashamed of some things … but I didn't hurt anybody. I did not spy on somebody …"

    I do not see how Witt would be incentivized to lie about it. As the articles indicate, there is voluminous official documentation in the Stasi files on Witt. If she were lying on such an important issue, I would be willing to wager that damning information would leak in one way or another, and it would destroy her as a public personage.

    As any good PR consultant will tell you, under these circumstances, a celebrity is much better off admitting her transgressions, and begging the public's understanding and forgiveness by explaining how it is that in a country such as the former GDR, people from all walks of life are sucked into a system of spying on those closest to them. From everything that I've seen, Katarina Witt is a very smart woman.

    The Telegraph piece was, in my view, borderline yellow journalism in its tone. It brands Witt a "willing accomplice" in the headline, but nowhere in the article is there any direct allegation of spying or anything remotely in that moral neighborhood. When you parse away the insinuations, the worst that can be said is that Katarina Witt was politically adroit, stroking egos here, dropping flattering words there (these might be some of the things that she is "ashamed of").

    However, the article itself concedes that the Stasi's primary job in the years of her fame was to do their utmost to see that she was happy and got whatever she wanted, so that she wouldn't defect. They were more afraid of her, it seems, than she was of them.

    If we are to say that such "politicking", which was far from uncommon in the days of the Soviet Bloc, and was probably even a necessity for athletes/artists/intellectuals to be allowed to ply their talents with a certain measure of freedom, immediately brands a person as a spy or informant, then I am strongly of the view that our faculties for discrimination have become so coarse that they are no longer appropriate instruments for moral judgment.

    Of course, the fact that Katarina at least mouthed the words of obeisance, and kissed plenty of butt, in order to get ahead in the claustrophobically dictatorial world in which she grew up, is not to be lauded. But the lesson to be drawn, by my thinking, is that Katarina is, morally, a rather ordinary human being, certainly not a Sakharov or an Osip Mandelstam (and even Mandelstam had periods when he seemed to waver). She was not a hero, however courageous her skating character might have seemed at times.

    And yet, ordinary human failings, such as being a sycophant, or a suck-up, or a flatterer, do not condemn the guilty to Dante's Seven Circles, the way that betrayal most certainly will, the betrayal of trust, of friendship, of family, even of love, which is what being an informant in a totalitarian police apparatus entails.

    If there is ever credible evidence that Witt was an informant, then I will perform my mea culpas right here on this forum.

    But otherwise, think of it this way: let's suppose I was LiamForeman's neighbor, and I wrote a letter to the local newspaper saying:

    "I've heard some rumors that Liam is up to no good, and, unfortunately, although I have no definite proof (actually, no proof whatever), I have come to feel that the rumors are accurate. He is a serial axe-murderer, that is, IMHO."

    Should the letter be published? And how should the community take such a letter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayuki View Post
    I always come to read this thread expecting a discussion about Julia's LP, silly me... it seems like it's the "was Witt a spy" thread now.
    Sorry, this is what is sometimes known as tectonic thread drift.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Steur was an informant. Witt was the one spied on.
    Both are interviewed in The Diplomat, an ESPN special on spying & skating in East Germany. So were the bureaucrats involved with the spying, some of whom did jail sentences for it.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug...-witt-20130805

    At no time did this documentary claim Witt herself did any spying.
    This is the only thing I've ever heard about Witt - that there were entire files on her, even what sexual partners she had. The Stasi spied on HER and kept tabs on her throughout the communist regime. And no one can deny that her parents weren't EVER allowed to see her in competition outside of the communist bloc countries. That only happened after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Back OT I look forward to Julia's next GP event and I hope she makes the Finals! I'd love to see her head to head against most of the top skaters leading towards the Olympics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayuki View Post
    I always come to read this thread expecting a discussion about Julia's LP, silly me... it seems like it's the "was Witt a spy" thread now.

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    I can't help but be vague here: in these two programs of Julia, they just come off as sincere. (And when was the last time you can say that for anything, let alone a figure skating program?) The costumes; the music; the stoic and introspective little nymph, Julia-- it is right. "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" as Yeats would put it. I wonder if adults in figure skating can ever be as sensitive and insightful. Julia makes us look at subject with fresh eyes, which is what all true art ultimately comes down to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimplyLex View Post
    lmao, really? You cannot be serious. You really think she knows everything that you just said?

    She probably does know and understand the topic of holocaust and the tragedy thereof, but I highly doubt she's aware of any of the concepts you described. Nor does her choreography convey all that.
    It's a nice intro, but man, talk about over-intepretation

    Julia is not stupid like American girls. While they are reading Twilight or maybe Fifty Shades of Grey, Julia has read War and Peace. Don't short-change educational system like here in the States.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllYouDoIsTalk View Post
    Julia is not stupid like American girls. While they are reading Twilight or maybe Fifty Shades of Grey, Julia has read War and Peace. Don't short-change educational system like here in the States.
    I highly doubt she has read war and peace. In interviews its been revealed she is not part of the Russian educational system (which I decline to comment on for lack of knowledge). Last year she went back to school for like a week and found the kids to be sort of... petty to her. I am pretty sure she's now educated chiefly around her skating schedule, not skating around a normal school schedule.

    Also, I'm from the states and my education was fine, but I didn't read war and peace till I was 17 or 18 and I'm a VORACIOUS reader. I reject your gender and national stereotype about American girls being stupid. I was and am smart, and have the credentials to prove it in real life. I know many smart American girls and women. That said, a 15 year old, IMO could not hope to understand it, not because of the language, but because the deep emotional relationships and themes cannot resonate with most people that young whatever their background or country of origin.

  10. #55
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    But has Julia read The Brothers Karamazov?

    Anyway, back to Katarina Witt…

    Here is her own recollection of the whole business, written in 2012.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...ied-age-8.html

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllYouDoIsTalk View Post
    Julia is not stupid like American girls. While they are reading Twilight or maybe Fifty Shades of Grey, Julia has read War and Peace. Don't short-change educational system like here in the States.
    Because clearly no American girls have ever read books beyond Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey. And extolling the virtues of Russians that read]their own literature! Wow.... such a ground-breaking, revolutionary education system they have.

    Quit with your Russiophilic superiority complex. There are smart girls and stupid girls everywhere in every country. Twilight/50 Shades of Grey doesn't define the American education system. Unless you know Julia personally and are picking out her reading material, I highly doubt you actually know what she knows and what she has read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tulosai View Post
    I highly doubt she has read war and peace. In interviews its been revealed she is not part of the Russian educational system (which I decline to comment on for lack of knowledge). Last year she went back to school for like a week and found the kids to be sort of... petty to her. I am pretty sure she's now educated chiefly around her skating schedule, not skating around a normal school schedule.

    Also, I'm from the states and my education was fine, but I didn't read war and peace till I was 17 or 18 and I'm a VORACIOUS reader. I reject your gender and national stereotype about American girls being stupid. I was and am smart, and have the credentials to prove it in real life. I know many smart American girls and women. That said, a 15 year old, IMO could not hope to understand it, not because of the language, but because the deep emotional relationships and themes cannot resonate with most people that young whatever their background or country of origin.
    Julia is home schooled

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllYouDoIsTalk View Post
    I can't help but be vague here: in these two programs of Julia, they just come off as sincere. (And when was the last time you can say that for anything, let alone a figure skating program?) The costumes; the music; the stoic and introspective little nymph, Julia-- it is right. "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" as Yeats would put it. I wonder if adults in figure skating can ever be as sensitive and insightful. Julia makes us look at subject with fresh eyes, which is what all true art ultimately comes down to.
    Julia chose her FS herself by watching shindler's list movie many times
    I agree this is perfect program for Julia, a perfect blend of innocence, loss and insight with the music

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllYouDoIsTalk View Post
    Julia is not stupid like American girls. While they are reading Twilight or maybe Fifty Shades of Grey, Julia has read War and Peace. Don't short-change educational system like here in the States.
    As an American I take great offense at this remark. Not ALL American girls are 'reading Twilight' or 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. And btw I'm sure there are plenty of Russians that read such books as they sell well over there too. Not that there is anything at all wrong with that. Your post is insulting from start to finish.

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    What does choice of books to read have to do with quality of figure skating. There are plenty of smart people whose intelligence doesn't translate to beautiful skating; Flatt comes to mind.

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