Monday, November 10, 2014

25th Anniversary: Fall of the Berlin Wall

I was in East Germany in 1988 from April until July. I spent my spring trimester of my junior year in college doing SST--Study Service Trimester, for a cross cultural experience.

Yesterday, November 9th, 2014, marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Over 8,000 helium balloons were released in celebration last night. I would love to have been there!
It's wonderful to think of all the people I met now free to travel across the remains of the old barriers. I recall the sense of sadness our student group experienced as we left to go home, believing the people would never have a chance to leave freely as we did. I could never have imagined that a short time later, the wall would come down!

My memories are the Brandenburg Gate shown above, are from the old East German side.

We weren't allowed to walk anywhere close to the gate, it was all closely guarded by Russian occupying soldiers. Above the top of the wall, looking into West Berlin, we could see part of a ferris wheel on the other side. I always thought that ferris wheel was a tantalizing reminder of the freedom they couldn't have in East Berlin.

This is a Russian guard station. We often saw both Russian soldiers and East German police, and there was a clear sense of resentment toward the occupiers. 

Because East Germany was socialist before the wall fell, conformity, solidarity, and shared wealth were pushed. Yet we saw and experienced evidence why such a system didn't work. Note the four identical turquoise Trabants in the top right corner. Click the BBC news article to see the first Trabant that crossed the border the day the wall fell in 1989. 

Though founded on principles that might have been utopian had they worked, socialism couldn't prescribe freedom when it was forced upon the people. The picture above is of baby carriages outside the shopping market--and all of them are full of unattended babies! If one baby lost his pacifier and began to cry, any passing stranger would replace it, bounce or sway that carriage until the infant settled, and then move along. Though crime was low due to the control of the regime, fear was palpable, depression evident, and hopes only smoldered.

There are many kinds of walls in our world today. There are many things that divide and many who long from freedom. I pray the masses will discover what this East German car owner boldly stamped on his car: "Echtes Leban findet man nut bei Jesus Christus."
Eternal life, can only be found in Jesus Christ.

He is the author of freedom and hope.
Without Christ's indwelling, even the freest man by the definition of the world, will be lost and despairing. Though the wall is down now, I pray for those lives fractured by the brokenness it created. Celebrate with them today, and pray for healing!
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. I bought my daughter a very small piece of that wall in a commemorative box. She has no idea where it is now! : (

    1. Hmm, that would be fun to find again about now!

  2. Thanks for that interesting post, Anne!! We often take our freedom for granted and need these reminders. "Without Christ's indwelling, even the freest man by the definition of the world, will be lost and despairing" - truer words never spoken!! Our prayers should be both for those who don't live in a free country and those whose souls are lost!!


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