Monday, November 9, 2009


Measuring 1,300 meters on Mühlen street, between the Oberbaum bridge and the Ostbanhof station you'll find the longest section still standing of the Berlin Wall, also known as East Side Gallery in the Friedrichshain district.

The Wall was erected in 1961 because more than 2.6 million Ost Deutschers escaped to West Berlin or West Germany from 1949 to 1961 (total population of East Germany was about 17 million!).

Great Satan's 41 was on hand to reassure allies ("I like Germany so much I think there should be two of them!" France's Mitterand) and stare down Soviets who really didn't have a choice in the matter - at least without igniting a Götterdämmerung that would leave Europa as barren and desolate as the surface of the moon.

41 reflects on Wall and the relics:

"The international scene has changed enormously in the last two decades, in large measure because there is no more superpower confrontation. That is the enduring historical legacy of the Fall of the Wall: it set in motion those events that would lead to the reunification of Germany less than one year later – a day that marks, in my mind, the day the Cold War ended.

"The events of 1989 began a new era in the history of Germany, Europe, the Atlantic Alliance, and indeed, the entire world. To be sure, new challenges and responsibilities have emerged.

"It is a world that is all the more hopeful because over the last two decades, a united Germany has taken its place as a force for peace and stability in world affairs, NATO has renewed its purpose, and the members of the Atlantic Alliance have become even more vital partners in leadership.

"As we celebrate this year’s historic anniversaries and look forward to a shared future of hope and promise, may God continue to bless the people of Germany and the entire Transatlantic Community.

“That stark and searing symbol of conflict and cold war was proof that no wall is ever strong enough to strangle the human spirit, that no wall can ever crush a nation's soul.”

Pic "Checkpoint Charlie"


Findalis said...

I remember a trip I took in the late 70's to Berlin. And going through Checkpoint Charlie into the East.

The difference was startling. The shortages of goods in the stores, the drabness of the city, the feeling of being boxed in, without hope. That was East Berlin, East Germany.

Steve Harkonnen said...

Lessons learned: It isn't a good idea to travel from Bonn to Berlin while carrying crypto.