20 Years of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

2It was precisely on November 09, 1989 that the infamous Berlin Wall, ostensibly built to protect the interests of GDR ( German Democratic Republic ) but actually built to keep her fleeing flock in captivity, and preventing them from crossing over to FRG ( Federal Republic of Germany ), was demolished. I was in Mumbai when this epochal incident happened. I do remember and vividly remember the day when I read about it in the morning news papers.

In the history of the world, there are many instances of Nation and State dichotomy. Sometimes there is one state but there are many nations in it. But there are other examples also. There is one nation but there are many states. It is a broad subject and I will write on it some other time. Germany is one nation but after the World War 2, it was divided into two states : GDR( German Democratic Republic ) or East Germany and FRG ( Federal Republic of Germany ) or West Germany. East Germany was Communist and West Germany, as per their views, was Capitalist. The historical capital Berlin was also divided into East and West Berlin. In spite of the lofty ideals of Communism and so called Socialist dogmas, the hungry and impoverished populace of East Berlin used to cross over to West Berlin in search of greener pastures. When droves of people started fleeing, red faced comrades of Communist Germany, instead of trying to improve the lot of their hapless, destitute people, erected the wall and thus tried to prevent their people from crossing over. Strict and elaborate security steps were enforced and thus for the time being the communist rulers succeeded. From 1961 to 1989, the infamous wall stood as the silent testimony of their failure.
It became the symbol of the cold war for 28 long years.

Gradually after “ Perestroika ” and “ Glassnost ” ushered and unleashed by Michael Gorbachov in USSR ( Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ), the fall of the Communism began. The infamous dictator of Communist Germany, Enric Honecker, finally succumbed to public pressure and on November 09, 1989, the East German politburo led by its newly elected leader, Egon Krenz, decided to allow refugees to exit the country through crossing points between East and West Germany. It was announced in the press conference. When journalists asked the spokesperson about when this would come into effect. The spokesperson didn’t know but he assumed that it would be that very day and replied, “ As for as I know – effective immediately, without delay. ”

News spread like wild fire and thousands of people gathered near the wall and they forced the guards to open the gates. Caught unawares, guards were forced to open the gates. Thousands and thousands moved from east to west and thus ended the division and in the process brought unification of the German nation. Subsequently people started hammering the wall and the scar of mankind and symbol of despotic communism was brought down. After 28 years Berlin was united.

Subsequently communist regimes were booted out of power everywhere. In Russia ( former USSR ) gigantic colossus of Lenin were dislodged and were consigned to museums. She broke into several small sovereign states. City of Leningrad was renamed again as St. Petersburg. Defeating communists in Poland, Lech Walesa came to power. Communist East Europe was dismantled and now an unified Europe surges ahead. It was history in the making and I was witness to it. I am lucky that I saw defeat of communism, dismantling of USSR, unification of Germany and Berlin and birth of one Europe, with my own body, with my own eyes ( YACHI DEHI, YACHI DOLA ).




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