25years After, The Fall of the Wall

Naturally the big news in Berlin this weekend was the celebrations centered around the fall of the Berlin Wall, which happened 25 years ago on Sunday. The train drivers called off their strike to accommodate the one million (reported by the radio) people who came to watch the lights that lined the route of the wall rise into the sky. Oddly enough, most of the street at the central location of the Brandenburger Tor was closed to the general public so we had to be content with milling around like dumb animals at the barriers so that the invited guests could see the spectacle without the threat of the sweaty proletariat intruding. The best seats were at home, in front of the TV where it would have been warm and the beer plentiful and cheap.

Not being a genuine German I was disappointed at the lack of spectacle available to the general public, but the Germans who I saw at the Reichstag seemed to be overwhelmingly happy with things. I think this is because the occasion is a very important part of their history and as a consequence the simple fact of being a part of the celebrations was what was important. Uncouth foreigners like me wanted large bangs and bright lights flashing across the sky. We wanted to be close to the action, and witness a rambunctiously larger waste of public money for communal entertainment, but this was not to be.

My wife, a German, was happy enough with the symbolism of the lights, and admonished me to stop complaining about the lack of pyrotechnics, reminding me, it was a time of remembrance for Germans, not a tourist attraction.

If you have the patience, in 6 minutes you can traverse the route and see the lights where the Berlin Wall once stood, just follow the link below.




50mm, f2.8, 1/160, ISO12,800


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