Monday, November 9, 2009

20 Years ago today

I was almost 11.
I was living in Schweinfort Germany very close to the border of East Germany.
I did not expect the Wall to fall.
Very few people did.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been living in Germany when the wall fell. I was young but I still remember how exciting it was. I remember the East Germans streaming across the border in their tiny Trabants. I remember my German teacher at the time talking about what they were going to do with all the German Shepards that had served as bourder guard dogs. I remember thinking that they would have to rewrite all the text books. I remember driving to former east Germany and seeing how gray it was. It was an amazing time. I still get emotional when I talk about it. 10 years after the wall fell I was living in East Germany serving as a volunteer for my church. I got to hear first hand accounts of the events leading to the fall of the wall.

Is it any wonder that I got a little teary-eyed when I told my students where I was 20 years ago and the day that changed the world. Sorry students, your teacher is a girl and she cries. I showed them this really amazing 10 minute video "Walled in" talking about the fortifications the wall had and the precautions the East Germans/Communists took to keep their people from leaving.

I think for most of my students it is hard to think about what would be to separated from family and the rest of your country. But lots of my students thanked me as they left so I think it touched them.

Congratulations Germany you have come a long way since then.


Evenstar said...

Truly a great day in the history of the world.

Missy said...

Great video, thanks for sharing your experiences.

by aly goalen said...

I didn't know you lived in Germany when you were younger. What a neat story. I hope you're doing well!

The Blind Spot said...

It still touches me when I see videos of the day the wall came down. I was about 11 back then and I think I didn't realize what this meant for me. I'm glad that Germany is now united and that the "walls" in people's minds are disappearing, too. The video reminded me of another really bad story I just heard about. There was a woman who had lived with her husband for about 10 years when the wall came down. Then she found out that he was an IM (Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter) of the STASI who had been spying on her (and marrying her for that reason!!!) all those years. But remember, it wasn't all bad in those times. People were much closer to each other and not so selfish like today.