Wall, huh, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.
With apologies to Edwin Starr but this piece of graffiti on the wall on the prom beach outside our family home in Portobello, Edinburgh comes back to me today.
On the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
For FiftySomethings, and above, the Berlin Wall was the lasting symbol of Soviet Union and Iron Curtain oppression.
And its fall, although seemingly inevitable with the perspective of history, was anything but.
True, Ronald Reagan’s invective and Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika relaxation of Soviet totalitarianism helped.
But it was the pressure of East Germans coming back on holiday from Hungary and amassing at the Austrian border.
And a bumbling DDR apparatchik which drew people out to bring down the wall.
And thank God that they did.
With everything it is best to talk to and listen to those who were there.
And I was lucky enough to do just that when I attended the Germany Travel Fair, the Travel Mart in Dresden two years ago.
Where I heard from one Berliner about how a friend had been arrested in East Berlin because he had a rock’n’roll record.
And I also spent time with Saxon Ingrid who told me that it was important that they keep the wall mural of Communist rule in her native Dresden.
To remind us all of what Communist rule was like.
And that to airbrush history would be to repeat the mistakes that were made.
When they did the very same when they taught that Saxon history only started after the Russian Revolution.
I’ve dug out an Expedia break for you to go to Berlin… http://www.expedia.ie. Friday, November 30-Sunday, December 2,
Staying at the central NH Berlin Alexanderplatz, from €286pp including flight and hotel.
Here was my take on East Germany… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/.
And The Scary One is putting the foot down… she wants us to go to Berlin https://www.visitberlin.de/en next year. Ja, mein lieber Sohn