Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wall in Berlin erected to celebrate, er... Berlin Wall coming down

As always, I am not making this crap up.

In other Berlin Wall news, the Swedish woman who "married" the Wall still mourns, and this interesting piece points out that the Wall complex (which was partially constructed by the West incidentally) was erected because of what amount to terrorist attacks on the East German population. Not something that usually makes the history books.

I spent a chunk of 1996 working in Germany. I had a week to blow in Berlin, which is (or was) exactly the stereotypical Cold War/Krautrock/Sprockets pre-apocalyptic/post-modern decadent nightmare city of the retro-future one might expect. I had a rough time even then finding remaining chunks of the Wall in situ while looking for them using a map of where it once stood - never saw so many construction cranes in my life- and eventually stumbled across a chunk coming up from an U-Bahn stop while going somewhere else.

It was one of those moments when one feels like an idiot for a moment. The internal dialogue ran something like "Geez, I'd like to able to walk right over to that museum, but this big damn wall here in Berlin is in the way and I have to walk around it. Who in their right mind would stick a big wall in the middle of Ber- ... ohhhhhhhh.... cool!"

Knocked off a couple little flecks I still have somewhere, and had a photo snapped by a couple of Japanese tourists. No matter how bad the history, within a generation there's a stand selling batteries and Coke on the very spot.
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