Greetings from Germany. . .
This evening marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In remembrance of the occasion, British performance maker Martin Butler has organized a wide-scale happening, the Mauer Mob. The project will create a human chain of 33,000 people in order to recreate the path the wall took in its division of the city, the nation and its people.
I will be participating as a member of Group 55, at Behmstraße, just up the street from my house and right next to Bornholmerstraße — the first checkpoint to be opened on the evening of November 9th, 1989. The Mob is seeking to bring together a wide variety of nationalities to help illustrate the multicultural nature of the city 20 years since the fall. I will be doing my part — attending with Canadians, an American, an Ukranian and my beagle, a German-American dual citizen.
Above is a quick map I drew for my second-graders showing the island that was West Berlin as part of West Germany (BDR), within the sea of Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR). A cartographer I am not, yet the remoteness of what was formerly West Berlin is easily noted.
Here is a piece from Slate.com about the significance of Berlin within the context of the Cold War. It should provide a useful reference for the importance of tonight’s remembrance.
For good measure, below are two songs that many associate with this historic time and that most Germans still hold fondly in their hearts: