Berlin Wall 1989-2009
If you turn on the television or glance at a newsstand in just about any city lately, it would be hard to miss the coverage on Berlin. This month marks the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall. It was on November 9, 1989 that the wall came down. A wall that was put up by the GDR (German Democratic Republic) to stop East Berliners from escaping. They were fleeing by the thousands per day, trying to go from Soviet-controlled East Germany to the West, which was then occupied by the Americans, British and French. I was lucky to visit Berlin and learn about the history up close – stand in front of the last remnants of the wall, watch select artists make their statements and especially follow the parallel lines of cobblestones that trace where the wall was. To me that was a powerful sight.
To coincide with the anniversary, I’ll share some of my photos and adventures from Berlin in the next couple of weeks. Berlin is a fascinating city to visit, if a bit overwhelming because of just how much there is to see and do, and especially learn. To be in a place with that much history is not something to be taken lightly. Below you will see a series of links so you too can read up on the events of the past and the present. I have chosen just a handful (in both English and French), which I found very informative and interesting – with tons of links for articles, interviews, videos and images. It won’t even scratch the surface of just how much is available online and in special edition magazines and books, on TV and the radio. But it’s a good start. If you found a great link, please feel free to share with us in the comments.
If you go to Berlin, you’ll notice a particular little man with a hat on telling you to cross the street or to stay put. That’s the Ampelmann, East Berlin’s traffic figure created in 1961 shortly after the wall was built. It is now a symbol of East Berlin and the past socialist era, and truly a cult figure. You can tell if you’re in what was once West Berlin if you don’t see him anymore, and instead a more mundane hatless green man is telling you to cross.
Wall Street Journal: //online.wsj.com/public/page/berlinwall.html
Facebook Group: //www.facebook.com/freedomwithoutwalls
History Channel videos:
“Kennedy responds to Berlin Wall”: //bit.ly/1jag33
“Regan speaks about visit to Berlin Wall”: //bit.ly/1Pux5F
A brief overview: //www.berlin-life.com/berlin/wall
And to explain the famous “Brotherhood Kiss” above between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and his East German counterpart Erich Honecker: //bit.ly/D0kJ
* En français:
Le Figaro: //www.lefigaro.fr/international/mur-de-berlin.php