25 years later, I ran a marathon with a course which took runners through east and west Berlin and ended with a sprint through Brandenburg Tor. The day after the marathon, I found myself sitting in Starbucks sipping a caramel macchiato and watching the antics of protesters assembled in front of Brandenburg Tor. Time does move on, yet throughout my wanderings around Berlin I found scattered pieces of this history and the Wall.
I photographed my footprints at the footprint of the Wall behind the Reichstag:
I made time to visit Nordbanhof S-bann station. Across the street from the station is an open air museum/memorial of The Wall. The outdoor display preserves for visitors the expanse of space called ‘no man’s land’ and remains of the wall. Included in the exhibit is a memorial, Window of Remembrance, dedicated to those who died in their attempt to cross this Wall.
I sifted through so many emotions as I viewed this exhibit. You have to see the intact structure of the Wall to gain a better understanding of what these people faced. It was not simply one large wall. There were two main walls lining the east and west sections of Berlin, the space between filled with barbed wire, smaller walls, flood lights and guard towers. It wasn’t a simple matter of jumping over a wall and running like heck. As I walked around the memorial, I kept thinking ‘this is effing stupid, this is so effing stupid’. I am so very faithful to my freedom, The mere idea of being restricted into one area because of a political ideology rubs against every fiber of my heart, mind and soul. It would have been an intolerable situation for me. If I lived here at that time, I would have made a run for it. Guaranteed.
Remnants of The Wall:
25 Years ago, it was a mad house in Berlin. I remember the news broadcasts and recall hoping the Berliner’s were ready for freedom. Indeed, they were. Berlin today is a thriving cultural and technological gem, I enjoyed every minute of my visit and look forward to returning.
Wings of Hope?
Angel of the Wall:
A message to the future written on The Wall. Pay attention or we may repeat this mistake:
Artwork found at Nordbanhof Station as I was leaving the exhibit:
25 years later, Berlin remains united and the memories of the Wall still linger. Let us not forget, let us not repeat this mistake.
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