|Remnants of and a reminder of where the Wall once stood
|Wall remnants dividing a neighborhood
In 1961, and seemingly overnight, the Berlin Wall was erected. At midnight of 12 August, the East German police closed their border with the west and by morning roads allowing access to West Berlin had been broken up and destroyed in an attempt to stop the flow of vehicle traffic. (Trains continued to move from the west to the east and back again but they didn't stop at the eastern stations where passengers saw only armed guards as the trains passed by. These stations became known as "ghost stations").
|Exploring the rebar remnants
This week marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. With the falling of the wall life once again changed but it didn't instantly revert back to the way life had been before its construction. Remnants of the wall remained, and still remain today, and the scars of the past are ever present. You can see them in dedicated memorials, kitschy tourist traps and redeveloping neighborhoods. To commemorate the anniversary of the Wall's falling, a recent Washington Post article examined the realities of a today's Germany. Although there is no longer a physical barrier separating the east from the west, the country remains divided in so many ways. I read the article while sitting in my Berlin hotel room after spending the day traipsing through the city. With the images and history of a divided Berlin so fresh in my mind the article had a whole different meaning for me. It reminded me that while the Wall went up quickly its coming down is taking, and will take, generations for people to fully recover from. History is powerful and Berlin is a city where recent history is alive and on full display for all to see. After all, those of us who forget where we came from are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past.
|A photograph of a photograph of what was known as "Checkpoint Charlie"
Today it is one of the worst touristy photo gimmicks I've ever seen--
A prime example of a capitalist society