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Old 9th Nov 2004, 06:41 PM   #1
Antero90
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The Berlin Wall went down 15 years ago

November 9th 1989.

Im sitting on my living room whatching the news as usual. But what I see today is not the usual.

I see people jumping, I see people drinking, people hugging, people crying, people shouting.
Images of hundreds of faces are caught on camera. All smilling, all overtaken by some colective urge to party.
Beneath some of them and in front of most them there is this very high wall.

I had seen that wall before. Just a few weeks earlier there had been a special about the divided Berlin. And then the wall was shown. Tall, white, cruising in weird curves and bends in the heart of an european city. That was a true testimony of opression. I felt fear when I saw it on tv. The feeling of opression was amplified by the guards spying the camera. Although the crew was probably safe as long as they stood in the west part, it really felt like you could be shot down by just trying to get closer.

But now the wall looked harmless. It was no longuer a menacing white giant. It was just a wall being pierced by all sorts of cutting tools. Soon the crude pickaxes and hammers are replaced by a faster and more powerfull demolition machine (only later I realised it was actually a big pulley). Suddenly the wall is breached. People rush to the other side like rats. Cheers are heard as the detached piece of concrete is held still in the air like a ballot paper. Flashes ensue. I say to myself "Wow! This is history happening!". More happy faces are shown. The party goes on for all night and continues the day after.

This is my memory of that day. And although I am not german I experienced those moments with an unexplanable feeling of happiness.

I was only nine years old back then. Back then it was just the most cool demonstration of freedom I had ever seen.
But now as I have more background on what happened I have an even higher consideration for that day.

It was said that it could not be done in our life time but it was. But most important of all was that all this was achieved in the most unexpected way possible. People pressured for changes. And the old leaders were forced to accept.
It was just like in the song. A wind of change blowing straight in the face of time. From there to the end of the cold war it was only a matter of months.

While the later events were not so happy I would like to mark this day that will forever stay in my mind. If there would a place where I would have loved to be in the 80's that would be the Berlin of November 9th 1989.

It is common for people to create associations of words with images.
From that day on my image of freedom was the image of common berliners taking down the wall by their own means.
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Old 9th Nov 2004, 07:03 PM   #2
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Thanks; one of the best things I've read all day
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Old 9th Nov 2004, 07:20 PM   #3
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Old 10th Nov 2004, 06:00 AM   #4
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Let's build a wall between USA and the terrorists. Then one day we get to tear it down.
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Old 10th Nov 2004, 07:28 AM   #5
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Wasn't that Pink Floyd who played on the wall before it collapsed?
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Old 10th Nov 2004, 10:28 AM   #6
Nachimir
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 Originally Posted by DeepQantas:
Let's build a wall between USA and the terrorists. Then one day we get to tear it down.
We can just extend it in a few directions from Israel...
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Old 10th Nov 2004, 10:51 AM   #7
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I was 11 when it happened. My memories are similar to yours, Antero, although you wrote it better than I could have.
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Old 11th Nov 2004, 04:42 AM   #8
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 Originally Posted by Lurox:
Wasn't that Pink Floyd who played on the wall before it collapsed?
I think the band you are thinking of is "the who". Pink floyd had a song called the wall, which has no direct references to the berlin wall.

The wall itself was on the other side of the world to me, but it still shows how far ahead europe is socially. The people there were able to get together tear down the barrier between the rich (west) and the poor (east). They did not get resentful and fight, they fixed the problem.
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Old 11th Nov 2004, 07:09 AM   #9
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Fate was really gracious back then to let it end that peacefully. The whole thing could have easily tipped over in a worse direction - Just one "Grenzer" loosing his nerves for example. Remember they had shooting order for that exact situation, namely an "Attack on the wall".

Anyways "Alles Gute Ossis" or something...

Last edited by Schleicher; 11th Nov 2004 at 07:12 AM. Reason: damn ze browser!
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Old 11th Nov 2004, 08:12 AM   #10
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Lurox is 50% right. Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters staged a special concert on the wall in 1990. It's available in cd for a long time. The dvd of this concert was released last year I think.

And although the wall mentioned in Another Brick in the Wall is a an inner wall Pink Floyd did made a song mentioning the Berlin Wall in Division Bell. But as any Pink Floyd song people still debate what is the real wall mentioned.
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