Today was definitely a history lesson for me. I know that I took history in high school but I don’t think that I ever really understood the terrible history that took place in Germany. I mean, I knew about WWI, WWII, and the Berlin Wall, but I don’t think that I ever understood how it all happened. So, here is a quick look at history and what I learned today.
- Post WWI, Berlin was the capital of Germany and it was a thriving unified city
- Then during WWII, this city served as the headquarters for Hitler
- During that war, the Allies attacked Berlin and left the city in ruins
- After WWII ended, Berlin was divided into sectors
- East Berlin went to the Soviet sector, while West Berlin was American, British, and French
- The Soviets were enforcing communistic rule, which is turn made for terrible hardship on the people
- Many people were trying to leave East Berlin, for a better life in West Berlin
- In 1961 there was an overnight construction of a barb wire fence that cut through the city. Families were divided and not able to see each other again for years.
- Then a concrete wall was erected that was 96 miles long, that consisted of 2 walls that were 12 feet high with the no-mans-zone “death strip” in between
- The wall was in place for 28 years
- November 1989 after long negotiations, the wall came down
On our tour, we were able to see part of the wall. It was very humbling. On certain sections they have added artwork. I could almost feel the sadness and power behind all this history. The crazy part is that I was born before the wall came down. In my lifetime the wall was in place. Seeing the city today, you don’t notice that there was so much hardship just 30 years ago. Then again, you come across a piece of the wall or the double bricks on the ground that signify where the wall once stood and you remember the past.
I had a long discussion about the history with my parents, and they both remember the day the wall came down. They watched it on TV along with thousands of others. I feel humbled to have been in this city and learned so much. I hope that you say a word of thanks for the life you live and what you have. We are very blessed.