Saturday, 18 October 2014


Some 25 years ago last week back in October 1989, amidst growing frustrations with East German style communist rule a wave of mass protests swept East Germany. Barely fifty years after East Germany was created in the Soviet occupied eastern Germany following the Second World War, these demonstrations would ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent transformation of Europe.

During the Cold War there were around some 5,000 successful escapes to West Berlin, and many failed escape attempts. There is an on-going argument about how many people died trying to escape to freedom - according to the Center for Contemporary Historical Research (ZZF) in Potsdam there were 136 confirmed deaths. Where once people risked everything to cross the old border now you stroll from one half of the city to the other with barely a thought about it.

I remember clearly recall watching the protests on TV and keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the tyranny would fall. Almost miraculously it did and from that moment onwards all things literally became possible, it is easy to forget that we live in a post cold war Europe were it is quite possible and entirely normal for the peoples like the Scots, the Catalans and others to seek self-determination

No comments:

Post a Comment