Yesterday we set off to see the memorial of the Wall that divided a country and the people.
The “Berlin Wall” as most people know it was the outer wall on the side of West Berlin. There was an inner wall on the side of the DDR (East Germany) … and Watch Towers in between that kept a watch on anyone who tried to flee.That is Renate peering through the concrete slabs of the Eastern Wall – but George couldn’t see anything.We went up to the Wall Memorial across the street to have a clearer understanding of the configuration.When we looked down we could see both walls and the zone in between – so that anyone trying to escape had to climb over first the Eastern Wall and then run for the Western Wall.It was a reminder of the terrible thing that happened. Between 1961 and 1989 along the Berlin Wall, at least 136 lives were lost.
After that, we drove past Checkpoint Charlie
When Mummy went through Checkpoint Charlie back in November 1989- this place looked nothing like it is today.Now there were stores selling Russian hats, uniforms and memorabilia. And we saw a few trabants.Mummy told us that when she was driving back to Dusseldorf after her visit to East Berlin back in November 1989, many trabants were travelling alongside them on the East German roads. But as they neared the border with then West Germany, the trabants could no longer travel alongside them. Mummy remembered saying to her friend – “one day all these trabants will just keep going and they will cross over the border.”
May’s comment: And that following Thursday on he 9th November, 1989 – those trabants and many others on bicycles and older folks on foot walked across the border. I remembered watching it on telly in my flat in Dusseldorf.
The demonstrations had begun earlier in Liepzig and were spreading to all other parts of East Germany. That weekend when we were there, I walked alongside the demonstrators on Alexander Platz – demonstrating against the wall and the political figures – in this case Honecker. I like to say I played a part in bringing the wall down.