The Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago this year. I lived in Berlin for a year in the 80's as a graduate exchange student and afterwards in Dortmund (at that time West Germany) attending a Hotel & Restaurant Management School. Almost 6 years in Germany, all told.
Yesterday, my friend in Dortmund, Gernot Eigen (he happens to be a retired chef) sent me images from a trip I took to Germany in 1989 (coming back from my brother's wedding in India)......I happened to be traveling in Southern Germany on the actual day the Wall went down. I woke up early, there was a very old, relic of a TV in the hotel room. For some reason, I turned it on (American and German TV wasn't really my thing before the days of CNN): I saw images of people sitting on the Berlin wall with bottles of champagne in thier hands! It was really confusing at first, I didn't have the sound on, turning on the sound and hearing what had happened the night before was shocking. Up to that point, the East German boarder police was still shooting people at the Wall. Later that day, we were hiking through the woods near by and saw East Germans who had come over a nearby boarder in their Trabant cars (those who had cars were in the vast minority). They were waving white handkerchives at us when we met them on the village road: we waved back. The towns and villages all over what had been West Germany set up places to sleep for those who were crossing the boarders and venturing over. The West German goverment was offering a small sum of West German Marks to East Germans who were visiting the West. It was both weird and great to be a witness to what seemed impossible.
Here are some pictures of a young women with red glasses: behind the glasses you can see it's me! Thanks Gernot for sending those images, a reminder of how time passes!