Wednesday, November 12, 2014

25th year of demolition of Berlin Wall – and I

Although the post about Berlin was to follow much later in the sequence of my Schengen Travelogue as I went to Berlin at the end of my Schengen Travelogue before returning to Kiel  - my Schengen Travelogue launchpad.  But as November marks the silver jubilee of the demolition of the Berlin Wall, 9th November 1989 to be exact, I thought of talking about my visit to this historic and deadly killing field where countless people were gunned down by the entries of the German Democratic Republic or simply the East Germany since the erection of the wall in 1961 and its demolition in 1989.

 The watch tower behind the wall, from where the East German soldiers watch freedom across the wall and shot at those who tried to climb over it to reach for the freedom (above and below)

Though I wasn't there on 9th November to participate in the silver jubilee celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall, but during my visit to Berlin in October 2014 last month, visit to Berlin Wall or what remains of it after its demolition was on my list of attractions to be visited while in Berlin. However, I had to cut short my Berlin tour but I still made it to the Berlin Wall in the evening before leaving Berlin and reached the place where this once most dreaded 155-kilomtres wall stood.

 Iron grills have replaced at the site of the fallen wall to show where the wall once stood

Reaching the wall was quite difficult as there was a lot of road repair work underway in the general area and the navigation system of our car was finding it extremely difficult to take us close to the wall. This consumed a lot of time and allowed the sun to disappear in the West, blanketing the remains of the Berlin Wall lest I see the blood stains of those who once ran towards to wall and then fell down dead after being shot by the East German soldiers.

Interestingly, I parked my car in the Bornholmer Strasse, a street that led inside the East Germany once. 
And the building close by must have been the headquarters of the Russian and East German spy agencies keeping a close watch over West Germany across the Berlin Wall.
After parking the car, I moved from the ‘East Germany to the West Germany’ and found a gate open into the still standing portion of the wall, though the notice said otherwise, and I walked back into the ‘East Germany.’ 

 The notice on the already opened gate read:

This gate is closed. Access to the cemetery: Ackerstraße at the confluence of Anklamer strabe

Inside the compound, there is a memorial is in place with photos of those who died trying to reach for the freedom across the wall, beside some sections of the wall stacked away from the actual wall.

I also saw the many slogans written on the wall by the East Germans. Though these are not comparable to some beautiful calligraphic work elsewhere, but these do project the aesthetic sense of the people under oppression on the Eastern side of the wall. 

Can you beat it that in the days of oppression, an East German had to wait for 10-15 years before the car he applied for was delivered to him. This just one example – rest you can imagine.

 I standing by the Glory Hole - something that was a great achievement for some unknown freedom lover - I wonder if he lived to see the fall of the wall and the freedom or otherwise!!

The visit to the wall, that once stood mighty strong and now fallen was a great lesson for all freedom lovers and freedom seekers. No matter how strong ar the walls these finally go down with resilience, motivation and determination.
When I was leaving, I just had a look at the wall from the once East Berlin side and felt a very strange feeling. Despite the wall and the bullets, people once lived here who know what freedom was and how to get it.

* All photos have been taken by and are accordingly copy righted

If you like Jaho Jalal, please follow us on Facebook


S A J Shirazi said...

Great stuff. Lagta hey app wahan kai dastanein choor key aye hein. Our uss sey ziada sath ley key aaey hein. Love this.

Jalal HB said...

Thank you SAJS - there is lot to tell and share. Stay tuned.

S A J Shirazi said...

Need more for sure on this!