Saturday, October 23, 2010

Berlin Wall: What Goes Up, Must Come down . . . .

"Imagine all the people living life in peace" ~ unknown author

When I think of Berlin, Germany, the first two things that comes to my mind is the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust, which was "the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II"~ Wikipedia. 

On August 13, 1961 the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) started to build the Berlin Wall in order to stop the massive numbers of East German citizens fleeing into the west which was occupied by Americans, British and French. There were 5,000 people that escaped and 100 people killed trying to escape.  

Twenty eight years later after the Iron curtain cracked, reunification of Germany occurred and the wall finally came down.  The above quote was taken from this video that I found. It was written by an unknown author on a teared down section of the Berlin Wall.  After 28 years, Germany celebrated swiftly and celebrated jubilantly  . . . . and I can't blame them.  It's wonderful when something so wrong is made right again and I envy anyone who was in Berlin to witness and experience this historic moment.  In my Trekcapri's 2010 Vibrant Europe Adventures post, blogging friend, Maya, (The Many Walks of Maya) commented "We were in Berlin right as the wall was coming down. It was a very exciting time." I remember being moved by the images of people celebrating.  What an amazing first hand experience to have Maya. Thanks so much for sharing that with me.  

Today, most of the wall is gone, replaced by a two layer row of paving stones.  During my trip, high on my must see list is to visit some remaining sections of the wall, starting with the Eastside Gallery, which is the longest section remaining.  The gallery contains 100 paintings from artists from all over the world.  Weather permitting, I hope to see all of them.

I remember in 2006 when I went to visit Prague in the Czech Republic, I made a visit to the Old Jewish Cemetery and Museum in the old Jewish Quarter.  To this day, I can still remember my experience walking through the cemetery and visiting the children's museum in the Pinkas Synagogue.  I have vivid memories of this one painting and of the photograph of a group of children who perished, at one of the concentration camps.  It was very disturbing for me to see these images as I imagine it will be for me to see the Holocaust Memorial. 

It was a challenge for me to write this final pre-trip post on Berlin because honestly I was torn between writing about Berlin's dark past as opposed to the vibrant Berlin of today.  In the end, I decided that I couldn't talk about the present without remembering the past.  And I could not plan my trip to Berlin without including sights where I will see awful reminders of the Holocaust. 

With that said, I do love how Berlin has emerged into this very vibrant and artistic city since it's reunification.  It took 28 years for the Berlin wall to come down which is a very long time.  But it did come down.  And maybe seeing Berlin in it's present state will inspire hope.  A hope that the other "wrongs" in this world no matter how long it may take can also be made right again.  Imagine how wonderful it would be . . . 

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

And here's a video I think my blogging friend and song sister, Anne would also like.  Her wonderful blog title . . . Light is Sweet . . . 


  1. I bought a piece of the Berlin Wall not long after it came down. The money went to some charity. I still have it!

    Nice post. Love John Lennon's song.

  2. Hi Annie, that's very cool that they were selling parts of the wall for charity. I love John Lennon's song too. I'm so excited that I get to see the Eastside Gallery with the paintings. I'm going to take lots of photos.

    Thanks so much for your comments and have a great week.

  3. Kathy, thank you for this beautiful video! :) I love this song, what a powerful statement it makes. And the images are lovely as well.

    Amazing entry on Berlin. I have learned a lot! I agree it's important to be mindful of our times of darkness, both individually and as members of our larger community. And that darkness is always followed by light and new life. So true about holding onto hope that other wrongs will be made right. Amen to that, sister!

  4. Hi Anne, this song is just a classic and is so applicable through the years. I loved the images on this person's video too. I have a feeling that I'm going to have a blast in Berlin but also that I will be moved in many ways at some of the sights that I have on my must see list. It's wonderful to be grounded and mindful and it makes me appreciate life so much more. It's funny, one day I was in a deep conversation with a group of people and was voicing a positive outlook on something I can't remember now what the exact topic was. And one person shrugged and said oh Kathy you live in a bubble. At the time I was embarrassed because everybody laughed but in hindsight I shouldn't have been embarrassed they should've been. :) "Light is Sweet"

    Thanks so much for your comments my song sister!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.