No fanfare on this blog about today’s 20 year commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Not because I’m not super happy to commemorate such an event, but because understanding the division of Berlin, the division of Germany, and the division of Germany has been a fascinating, personal journey for me since living in Berlin as a raw 21 year old a few years back.
So here are three small things to do to remember how significant 9th November 1989 was:
- When you’re in Berlin go to Stiftung Berliner Mauer on Bernauer Straße (S Nordbahnhof or U Bernauer Straße). It gives a good view of how the wall actually looked, and it’s all done in a calm and sobre manner.
- Read Stasiland by Anna Funder, a brilliant book that tells stories from behind the wall. It does not try to give complete picture but contains many fantastic, personal stories. It’s a quick read and it’s well written.
- If you understand German have a watch of the Youtube video below, made by Deutsche Welle – “Eingemauert” – an excellent animation explaining how the wall worked.