4 comments on “… the fall of the Antifaschistischer Schutzwal

  1. Remember 1989, those glorious pictures on the News-

    I am not sure about preserving bits of wall. It is a memory of Oppression, which oppresses even now. I prefer to think of the fall of the wall, the heroism, the refusal of the soldiers to shoot, the collapse of the oligarchy.

    • a valid and very useful point, but surely the oppression, the humanity, and the hope is all part of the Wall?

      should we do away with Remembrance Day? Santayana wrote:

      “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

      My logic concerning Berlin is uncertain as I love the city, it has learned from its tragic mistakes and moved on, owning its past.

      again a useful perspective, and thanks for reading it

  2. Firstly, I apologise if this is incoherent. Its late and I’m tired but I’ve meant to reply for a few days so…

    Berlin did a strange thing to me a few years ago, it got under my skin in a way that nowhere else -even my home town – has and I genuinely miss the city when I’m not there. So I enjoy your Berlin based posts, you should write more of them 🙂

    I must say though that I disagree with this one. The wall needs to go – and not just because its a symbol of the DDR or of political control over citizenry – we both know that East German feelings about the DDR are far more complex and varied than that.

    Rather, the wall must go because its both those things as well as a symbol of humanity’s inability to work together. We spent 70yrs refusing to collaborate with the USSR and they with us whilst both sides were engaged in activity that the other would have done well to replicate – and avoid. If only we had been able to wed the personal freedom, healthcare, full employment and social cohesion whilst leaving aside the exploitation, greed, oppression and totalitarianism!. Instead, we hid behind a wall and called each other names whilst telling everyone who would listen how evil and intolerant the other side were.

    That lack of unity and of common cause is a problem that still haunts Germany today and one which still drives a wedge between the Ossis und Wessis. Right bang in the middle of it all, is a huge hulking monument to that intolerance, to that unwillingness to work together and to that inability to share ideas that may better humanity.

    Can The Wall be reclaimed? No, it is what it is, its a wall, a barrier designed to separate us fro our fellow man and prevent integration.

    Hope the above makes a little sense!

    Liam

    • thanks for your reply, if nothing else it is nice to see that other people read my ramblings.

      As I said my logic over the Berlin Wall is uncertain, but while I strongly respect other peoples views, I cannot help but feel it acts as monument to the bravery and suffering of the people over the political games of the East and the West. It surely can be seen as a symbol of the triumph of the citizen over the State, any State? It was not the politicians that knocked the wall down, it was the people. To me the Wall remains a symbol of the power of the people.

      If I wanted to be offended by anything in Berlin I would be offended by ‘Checkpoint Charlie’- a disneyfication of the tragedy of the politics of the post-war era.

      Perhaps the Wall can be seen as a symbol of a division that must be healed, a reminder of other cities that are divided by walls and societies that are divided, a lesson on what happens when we divide? I acknowledge I little or no right to comment on the Wall, I did not live in Berlin in the Cold War, and people who lived under the DDR have a different take on films like ‘Goodbye Lenin’ – but because of that I can see with more clarity?

      Should we demolish the Sans Soucci or the Arc d’Triomphe becuase they are reminders of imperial escapades, of the repression of the people and the wars of politicians?

      I see Berlin as the centre of European history, and a shining example of owning its past and moving that into a better future.

      Rambles I know, but I love Berlin as well, it is chilled and new, old and modern, a contradiction within itself. As someone said ‘Berlin is Germany’s naughty younger brother’ and even better ‘Berlin may be broke, but its sexy’.

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