“Thank you, Gorbi [Gorbatshov]” on the Berlin Wall, today 25 years ago
For as long as I can remember, seeing footage from when the Berlin Wall fell has given me goosebumps. I was born in the West, I had no family in the East, I grew up in a reunited Germany and I have never suffered from the divide. Still, there is something extremely grand about the Ninth of November (Fall of the Wall) and the Third of October (Formal Reunification) for me. As a German and as a historian.
My mother and grandparents have instilled an appreciation in me for being able to move between East and West freely. “It was absolutely unbelievable”, I remember them telling me. “We couldn’t imagine that it was really true”. And I, who has the blessing of being born late, got to travel to Dresden however and whenever I wanted to, I got to make several wonderful friends from the “East” without even thinking of that they were from somewhere that used to be a different country. We would not know each other if that Wall was still up.
This sign was installed after the German separation at the Main Square in Bremen and it still there today, stating “Remember the brethren bearing the fate of our separation!”
That’s why I celebrate the Third of October. Every year since, like what, ten years. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Reunification of Germany. It is all over the media, the TV channels have special shows, the magazines feature special reports, Frankfurt hosts a great central celebration. My friend Kristin, born and raised in the East, and I, born and raised in the West, also host a celebration. A grand unity party with our friends from all parts of Germany. Because we can – because we are the first generation of reunited Germans.
We are one! Since 25 years, hooray!