Sunday, November 8, 2009

Berlin Wall

November 9th marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and we had the chance to visit Berlin in mid September leading up to the anniversary. The wall left a lasting impression on us. From standing at the infamous Brandenburg gate, on both sides, to seeing some of the remaining sections of the wall deteriorating from lack of restoration, to the impressive East Side Gallery and Check Point Charlie the Wall is still a huge focus point in shaping modern day Berlin.

I'm not sure how to best describe it but the wall invokes so much emotion when you stop to think about it. We took a bike tour tracing the wall throughout the city which gave us a good understanding of the divide the wall caused. Imagine one day waking up, walking outside your front door and a row of barb wire is just outside your door step...barbed wire which became a wall. Or having family a couple streets over but now there is a line, or wall, you can't cross to see them again. Think about living in one area of Berlin, a wall is put up and one day you can't get to work. This was the reality that some people faced in our lifetime and it was hard to swallow.

On top of this, as American's, we should understand our part in the divide. Let's not argue right or wrong in this case but when the city was divided between the allies and the Russians it was only inevitable something like this would occur. I mean just have a look at this photo of the tank standoff that occurred at Check Point Charlie in 1961, one of the crossings from East to West Germany controlled by the USA. Maybe I was asleep in history class when we talked about the wall but I'd swear we didn't hear much about it even though we played a huge part in it.

The story of the fall of the wall was equally intriguing. Rather than a "story", it was a chain of events that set in motion something that could not be stopped and the final day, that press just can't make that stuff up. We sat literally on the edge of our seats, on some church steps, as a tour guide explained this fascinating chain of events.

Anyway so let's just all be glad the wall has fallen! Here are a few photos of the East Side Gallery in honor of the fall of the wall.

1 comment:

  1. That post reminds me of our honeymoon! We loved Berlin. So many different aspects to the history. Some really fantastic architecture as well. We vowed to go back sometime.