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Monday, 9 November 2009

Quote of the week No. 30: Today in 1989

Ten degrees at midday. Cold, damp, misty. Occasional gentle rainshowers.
"The Wall ... will still exist in 50, even in 100 years."

I guess Erich Honecker, when he pronounced these words on January 19, 1989 was either bluffing or hadn't reckoned with the "many small people who in many small places [did] many small things [and altered] the face of the world" (for source, see here).


Or, to be totally cynical, the surge of people across the Wall in those heady days may not so much have been down to fear of the Stasi or politcal idealism, but more to do with the pulling power of Coca Cola and electronic goods.

Cynicism aside...

On November 9 1989, I was sleeping fairly rough on the floor of a Bangkok guesthouse. This was not my first taste of Asia (I had already the previous year been in Hong Kong and Macao researching a book), but the months that followed took me on a great adventure inspired in part by the more idealistic elements of what was happening back in the heart of Europe.

And I returned home in time to see the German reunification celebrations. A different person. A different Europe. A different world.

So where were you when the Berlin Wall fell?

5 comments:

Woodman said...

At home or work as usual.

Cairo Typ0 said...

My brother was actually there at the time. He was doing a year abroad in Germany and got to experience it first hand.

Christine Gram said...

High School. And just trying out my political awareness muscles. It provided excellent fuel for my fire.

LadyFi said...

Just returned to the UK after three years in China and a year in Australia.

Will S said...

I take the 5th.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Quote of the week No. 30: Today in 1989

Ten degrees at midday. Cold, damp, misty. Occasional gentle rainshowers.
"The Wall ... will still exist in 50, even in 100 years."

I guess Erich Honecker, when he pronounced these words on January 19, 1989 was either bluffing or hadn't reckoned with the "many small people who in many small places [did] many small things [and altered] the face of the world" (for source, see here).


Or, to be totally cynical, the surge of people across the Wall in those heady days may not so much have been down to fear of the Stasi or politcal idealism, but more to do with the pulling power of Coca Cola and electronic goods.

Cynicism aside...

On November 9 1989, I was sleeping fairly rough on the floor of a Bangkok guesthouse. This was not my first taste of Asia (I had already the previous year been in Hong Kong and Macao researching a book), but the months that followed took me on a great adventure inspired in part by the more idealistic elements of what was happening back in the heart of Europe.

And I returned home in time to see the German reunification celebrations. A different person. A different Europe. A different world.

So where were you when the Berlin Wall fell?

5 comments:

Woodman said...

At home or work as usual.

Cairo Typ0 said...

My brother was actually there at the time. He was doing a year abroad in Germany and got to experience it first hand.

Christine Gram said...

High School. And just trying out my political awareness muscles. It provided excellent fuel for my fire.

LadyFi said...

Just returned to the UK after three years in China and a year in Australia.

Will S said...

I take the 5th.