Hope Found When The Berlin Wall Came Down
Filed in Politics
It was on August 12th, 1961 that East Germany leader, Walter Ulbricht, gave the order to build a separation wall between them and the West Germans, which had started the day after. Hmm, interesting since only two months beforehand he said that “no one wants to build a wall.”
But, he did build a wall. A 160km concrete barrier around Berlin, to be exact.
As if the wall wasn’t insulting enough, watchtowers (which is believed that no two were alike) were added along the wall’s perimeter with soldiers ordered to shoot anyone trying to defect. They called it Repulikflucht, or illegal immigration.
East Germans were a bit creative in trying to flee to the more free West Germany, using a variety of methods to get across, including tunneling, hot air ballooning, and one soldier drove a tank through it.
In 1989 after the East and West Berliners could cross “freely,” it was still dangerous, as the Soviets had buried landmines along the Eastern side — so it did take a while for it to be truly safe. And there’s no exact number of people who perished trying to cross the wall, estimates guess somewhere between 136-200 souls lost trying to reach freedom.
Now a little more than two decades after the fall of the wall, a new exhibit has opened up at Unter der Linden 40 in Berlin with never before seen photos taken from the East German perspective. Which is to say, taken from the eastern side of the wall.
The exhibit opened August 5th, which will until October 3 before heading off for an exhibition in Poland.
Maybe the exhibit should circle the globe, as a reminder of hope to all those who are repressed.
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