Germany, 20 years later...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by rbell, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. rbell

    rbell
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    ...after the fall of the Berlin wall.

    This is fascinating to me, as I was there at the time.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...l-20-years-after-its-fall-divide-remains.html

    rbell's account of the fall of the Wall:
    November 9-10 we will be twenty years removed from the fall of the Berlin wall. I was in Switzerland, studying theology at the time. We quickly “called an audible” as a class, and inserted ourselves into one of the most remarkable events to occur in the last half-century—the (largely peaceful) demise of the Eastern Bloc. We were welcomed into places Americans dared not go only weeks earlier. Finally, we made our way to the focus of the world’s attention. The centerpiece of Freedom’s victory in 1989—the Berlin Wall.

    I still don't know if we realize what an incredible sight we saw. Twenty years later, I am still processing the sights and sounds of a newly freed people realizing their dreams.

    But one image will stay with me above all others.

    I'll never forget being at the wall a few days later. The immigration process was still being worked through. I was standing on top of the wall, near the Brandenburg gate. I looked over to the Western side...and there was a line of about ten people who were being processed to go to the East. I looked over to the Eastern side...and I saw a line of hundreds being processed to go to the West.

    Ten to get in. Hundreds to get out.

    My mind clicked. It said to me, "Remember this scene." And I have.

    It was then that I understood just how desirable liberty was to mankind. It was then that I recognized the yearning in men's hearts to be free, and how men are diminished in their own hearts and minds when they are not.

    Whenever I see our government take steps to restrict its people further, I think of the Wall, and the line to get in to a place of control…versus the line to get out of that same control.

    That is all I need to know to formulate a coherent political philosophy.
     
    #1 rbell, Oct 31, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  2. Salty

    Salty
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    I watched the falling of the wall with great interest, as I had the opportunity to visit Berlin back in 1973. We also went to East Berlin for a day. In order to cross the border, we were required to wear our military uniform, but we could not wear any medals of any kind. Also, our picture and our ID had to match us identical. For example, if you were sporting a mustache, but your ID picture (which was probably taken at Basic Tng) showed you with no mustache, you had to shave it off!

    Also, when we boarded the train in Frankfurt, the MP's took our ID card. The reason was if you jumped off the train, and had no ID, well - the communists have their methods. In Addition, the train left Frankfurt at about 8 pm, so that when going thur East Germany, we were not able to see anything - and thus not be able to take any pictures.

    If you drove, one of the three approved routes, and you needed to stop at a rest stop, you were not allowed if an East German was their, and or if an East German did want to stop, then you would have to leave.

    To top off my trip, I did get a piece of the Berlin Wall from the French Sector.
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    I was stationed in Germany when the Berlin Wall went up. It was a tense time. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was on high alert. We had received orders to have all new radio teletype equipment installed in our mobile rigs. That was quickly rescinded. All tours of duty were extended.

    I was in the States when the wall was torn down.
     
  4. rbell

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    for those unfamiliar w/Germany...Berlin was actually in the middle of East Germany (DDR). So, to get there, you had to drive through DDR to get there.

    True story: things were coming apart for East Germany, but the police were still in place when we arrived (but they weren't getting orders to do anything to folks like us).

    So, as we entered the country, we let one of our guys do the talking (he was the only one who spoke flawlessly fluent German). This was very early in the process...the guards were obviously unsure of what was happening. Our vehicle was just about to be waved on in, when one of our folks spoke out loud...using perfect Western English, of course. So immediately, the German guards held a quick huddle, and there was this "travel visa surcharge" of 40-50 mark per person added to our "bill." (What's the German word for "bribe?")

    The one of us that spoke good German objected ever so slightly, but we got "the look" from one of the East German guards. That, plus the AK-47 (or whatever it was) he carried, convinced us to shut up and pay the bribe.

    I'm glad we did. I wouldn't trade the memory of the Wall for anything.
     
  5. Nonsequitur

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    Did you get a piece of the wall like SCB did?
    I always thought that would be pretty cool to have.
    On a side note, a while after the wall fell, all us gun collectors got to buy what is considered the apple of the Makarov pistols, a German one.
     

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