25 years later – thoughts on fall of the wall

25 years ago I was living in a small town in Eastern Germany – the last town before Poland.

Today I am sitting in Berlin. Not East not West I am sitting exactly where 25 years ago the so called death strip was cutting a scar through this town.

lichtgrenze Reichstag

A lot has changed and I am more than grateful for all the people ignoring their fear and taking matters in their own hands. Being brave enough to make a change and not just complaining.

Back then I was young. But even with my young age I knew that  in ’89 something was different. There was feeling of “enough is enough no matter the consequences” in the air. And it spread – slowly but steadily.

I don’t regret being born in the former GDR. I wouldn’t say I am glad but I appriciate the experience.

I know what it’s like to not talk openly – I never mentioned I went to church on Sunday when being asked in school how my weekend was. I know what it’s like to be different – I was no “Jungpionier“. And I know what it feels like when the “Stasi” is ringing your doorbell.

I remember the anxiousness and danger surrounding us. But at the same time there was hope. The community grew together.

lichtgrenze

Most of the time it was just exciting for us and we proudly painted our signs for the Montagsdemonstrationen – even though we hardly understood what they were saying. We made up our own “revolutionary songs” as we played on our room.

On November 9, ’89 I went to bed as every other night and basically slept through this event. But when waking up I knew something historic had happened. I heard about people leaving town in the middle of the night to play the trumpet on the Berlin Wall. There was lots of suppressed joy and grins and hushes.

What this day meant to me and my life actually sunk in on its 10th anniversary.

I was sitting in a World History class in Idaho, USA. When my teacher asked if I would come up and share my experience. I hardly found words and choked while looking into blank faces. How can you explain such a thing?

I’ve never seen the wall before it came down. And yet it was omnipresent. I knew we couldn’t travel to all places. It was either the Baltic Sea or the mountains in Poland and Czechia. I knew the language English existed but heard that I wouldn’t be able to use it anyways.

The impact of historic events 25 years ago have opened a world for me I never was able to imagine and my parents didn’t dare to dream of.

  • I’ve lived in the USA for a year.
  • I’ve traveled to countries I never new existed.
  • I married Mr. ♥ who I wouldn’t have a chance of meeting.
  • I have a niece who wouldn’t be here either.
  • I have the chance to vote and actually make it count.
  • But most of all I know change is possible.

To this day I feel nauseated when seeing footage from ’89. And I hardly can watch the news when there are demonstrations in Ukraine or the Middle East.

In know I am one of the last in my generation to remember. Do you remember?!

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6 thoughts on “25 years later – thoughts on fall of the wall

  1. So great to hear your personal story. It’s hard to imagine for me what life in the former GDR must have been like and even though unification hasn’t easy, I am so glad and thankful it happened. It had to!

  2. I remember watching the footage of the people scaling the debris of the wall and embracing other people who had scaled those same debris on the other side, and I remember getting teary-eyed. The whole Berlin Wall thing was a bit surreal to me, I couldn’t understand why anyone would come up with such a strange concept, and I couldn’t imagine being on either side, but boy, I could feel how momentous the occasion was.

    This is such a beautiful post, Tobia. I am so happy you had a chance to get the things that make you happy, and that so many other people did too! What an amazing tale to tell.

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