The Symbol of Division
Last year marked 25th anniversary of historic political changes in Eastern Europe. The city of Berlin due to its significance was at the heart of it. Poland celebrated its silver anniversary on the 4th of June. Although I do not remember the 1989 parliamentary elections, I will never forget my parents’ excitement the following year. That’s when they finally had a chance to vote in the first democratic presidential elections.
As Communism began to falter and the changes behind the Iron Curtain were in motion, the 9th of November marked the fall of the Berlin Wall. It became a powerful symbol of the end of the Cold War and the end of an era.
When visiting Berlin it is difficult to omit any of its landmarks related to the Wall. They are an important part of the city and they are certainly very influential. Cutting-edge developments, alternative spirit and creative energy? Yes, Berlin has it all and to large extent because of its past.
The Berlin Wall and the Boarder Strip
Berlin Wall Memorial, located in the center of the capital, is next to the historic site on Bernauer Strasse. It extends along 1.4 kilometers of the former border strip and offers a close-up look not only at the historical milestones but also personal experiences. Stories of people who saw the Wall constructed and who suffered from the division and the imposed boundaries are shared there.
An open-air exhibition, the memorial grounds and the visitor center include a variety of audio and video materials delivering a wide range of stories. I found them very engaging and extremely vivid. Some of them painted the history of Bernauer Strasse. Other insights took me on a journey through the daily madness of the Berlin Wall and many tough decisions that Berliners had to face back then. I also peaked into what was taking place in West Berlin and watched the footage of the demolition. Compelling, captivating and very touching. I highly recommend visiting it!
How to Get There
S-Bahn (S1, S2, S25)
Admission is free.