It was 20 years ago that Berlin Wall finally fell, taking the cold war with it. I was always of the opinion that the Wall was, not only a symbol of the Cold war, but also a symbol of repression and while it stood peace could never be attained. It was indeed built during a time of mistrust and fear. The leaders of the time not wanting the decadence of the West poisoning the minds of the East – and vice-versa. For us living in the western parts of the world, the Berlin Wall conjured up all kinds of nasty images about the east. Movies like “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold” only confirmed our beliefs that Eastern Europe was indeed a dreadful place. One wonders if the people living in the east had similar images about the west. I’m sure the government would have painted a grim picture of life “on the other side” just to keep the masses controled. However, not all Eastern Berliners believed the polemical speeches of the leaders, putting it down to just rhetoric. Many of these disbelieving souls try to escape to the West- some made it, many didn’t. East Germany border guards were ordered to shoot to kill any person trying to cross into the west. I’m sure many of these guards wondered.
Then it happens, in November 1989, the German people rose up and like the Biblical Joshua at Jericho, the wall came tumbling down. The mono-chrome of the east became the color of the west. Freedom, the people could travel where ever and whenever they wanted. No more guards, special papers and – I’m sure – other forms of ID. The German people took back their country and made it one – one nation and freedom for all.
There is one other country in our world that I hope will also have the chance to celebrate a unified nation. This country, like Germany was, is divided by wire and concrete and like Eastern Germany, the people repressed. But I’m sure it will happen, the people of that peninsula will rise up and take back their land and Joshua will again witness the wall come tumbling down. I am speaking of North and South Korea. We can only hope.
To the people of Germany, congratulations! Twenty years has passed, twenty years of freedom, my how time flies.