Today 20 years ago, the last hours of the Berlin Wall are precisely known. At 6.53 p.m. Günter Schabowski, a spokesman of the eastern german Politbüro was asked when new regulations for the private travel of eastern German citizens will take effect. As he was not fully updated that these new regulations were due to November 10th, 1989 he just answered
As far as I know effective immediately, without delay.
(german: “Das tritt nach meiner Kenntnis […] ist das sofort, unverzüglich.“)
That answer was like a big bang for the citizens of eastern Berlin. Thousands went to the Bornholmer Straße demanding to open the wall immediately. At 10.30 p.m. the eastern german border patrol man Harald Jäger surrendered and opened the Berlin Wall on the Bornholmer Straße with the last words
We’re flooding now.
(german: “Wir fluten jetzt”)
Now 20 years later, not many relicts from that time have remained. Today at 7 p.m. a thousand dominos as a symbol for the former Berlin Wall are gonna be knocked over in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
To get a better insight how the world looked liked in the 1980s here in Berlin, the Deutsche Welle made an amazing documentary about how the inner German Wall was secured.
For you guys around the world: today is national holiday here in Germany. Eighteen years ago, both German states became reunited. A day where we may pause for a moment and look back, what happened.
Our team members have been born between 1968 and 1975 – all of us in the western part of Berlin. Having grown up in the 1980s our consciousness eventually told us, that it possibly is not normal to live in a city that was surrounded by a Wall. We could buy everything and we had a western standard of living. But the military police was driving in the streets from time to time and so did helicopters fly over our heads every day in the morning and in the evening. We were caged. Comfy caged…
This way of caging 2 million people continued to have an effect a long time on after the reunification in 1990. For many people from Berlin-West until now it still is strange to be able to drive around the surrounding area of Berlin. We never learnt to drive through the hinterland. Many of us still say “driving to the east”… Anyway all of our team members nowadays live in the eastern part of Berlin and we really feel at home here. It seems our desire for finding out what behind the wall is, has been pleased in the end.
You’d better visit Berlin, gals and guys. Come here and find out why all the other who came here, want to stay here…