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This is Germany / 20 years anniversary of the reunion

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    This is Germany / 20 years anniversary of the reunion

    On 9th of November 1989, the border between the two Germanies was opened and the reunion began. 20 years later for us the opportunity to visit friends near the old border at Eisenach and to celebrate the anniversary. This was very emotional and also very private, but i will post some images here to give you some impressions:

    View from West to East at Geisa/Point Alpha:


    Same place, opposite direction:


    The old patrol way:


    An old tower near Eisenach, now occupied by amateur radio enthusiasts:
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

    #2
    In the days before the reunion, people who were visiting friends or relatives in the GDR (from West to East this was possible with a visum) brought as gift a "West-Parcel", containing everything that was not available in GDR: oranges, bananas, grapes, nylon stockings, wash powder, coffee, baking powder, dried yeast and many more. So we packed again a "West-Parcel" for our friends:


    Here are some pictures of the Wartburg, where Martin Luther translated the bible and founded the ideas of protestantism.







    Martin Luthers desk:


    The singers hall, which was so impressing for King LudwigII, that he installed a copy at Neuschwanstein:
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

    Comment


      #3
      It is very much appreciated that you shared these with us Ralf. That food parcel is in a way the most emotional image and it was special that you once again made such a parcel and so kept alive the memory of how things were.
      And it raised my spirits to see that old tower put to a good use by the amateur radio people. (I am proud to be a licensed radio amateur myself, though not actually “active” for a long time.)

      Comment


        #4
        It his difficult to express our experiences during these four days of celebrating the anniversary with pictures. So many stories were told, we had discussions with lots of people. The villages near the fence were restricted area during that time and there was no free admittance. Each step was watched by the police.

        The woman where we lived during these days flewed out of Neuenhof to Hannover in the late fifties and returned 1990. A farmer woman we met was reporting from her work on the fields just beside the fence. She had often to wait hours for the guards to open her the gates so she could go to or from work. Friends of us had to get for each day, he was visiting her, a passing card on the local police station. When he was leaving her, he had to give back this card again. That had to be before midnight!!

        When my father in law and his people met their friends from Neuenhof, they were not allowed to go there. They had to meet in a neutral hall in Eisenach. Stasi was watching these meetings. So they could talk and discuss free only during their walks through the woods and over the "Rennsteig".

        In 1988, nearly a year before the opening, the people in GDR started to visit the churches each Monday to pray for and dicuss about freedom. Although watched by the Stasi this wave grew more and more. It swallowed over the streets and became the Monday demonstrations. So they shouted each week for freedom and each week they became more and louder.

        38.000 people from Eisenach and the villages nearby crossed the border during that first day and visited their neighbour town, Herleshausen.

        In the evenings of these celebration days we all met also in the tiny church of the villages and different people told about their experiences during these days. We heard the mayors of east and west villages, the popes and many other people report their impressions. No one was able to hold back the tears. At 10 p.m. on the 9th, when the first gate was opened in 1989 we rang all the bells of the church. This was very impressing and completely different to the noisy and gigantic reunion parties in Berlin.
        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

        Comment


          #5
          Some pictures of 09.11.1989 from Herleshausen:



          During the GDR-times it was a rule in West-Germany that each visitor from East-Germany had to become 100.-DM "welcome-money". So the mayor of Herleshausen had to organize 3.8 million DM for that day. They received most of this amount from Frankfurt, but late in the afternoon he ran empty and had to call the director of the local bankhouse and they emptied together the safe. In the evening the book-keeper stated the loss of 50.000 DM. He was desperate until someone found the sum in an open parcel under a table in the town hall, where they payed the 100.-DM to the people. No one tried to take this money!!!



          The people bought empty the local supermarked. There wasn't even shoe creme left. When the truck came with new goods, they did not unload it, but sold directly out of the truck.



          During the morning the buses toured from East and West to the borderline, changed passengers and drove back again. About lunch time the drivers had a small talk about this stupidity and decided to cross the border. Then they drove together the complete route Herleshausen-Eisenach and back. Here a meeting of the East "Ikarus" with the West "M.A.N." in Herleshausen.

          To participate this celebration meant a lot to us, also because our friends gave us the feeling to be part of this. And for our children it was a big lesson "living history" and now they understand a lot about the meaning of "freedom" and "democracy".
          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

          Comment


            #6
            Amazing how fast 20 years has passed. I remember the fall of the wall quite well.

            Ralf, what is your most strong memory from the wall and from the fall of the wall (if I may ask)?
            With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

            Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
            Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

            Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

            Comment


              #7
              Oh, Ralf, what a dear one you are to share these photos and thoughts. It is a TREASURE, and I thank you from the depths of my heart! Simply WONDERFUL!

              Comment


                #8
                Well my strongest memory is something, what a woman from Herleshausen(west) said exactly with my words in this church.

                "I will never come back in this s***-country"

                Being in East Berlin for one day in 1984, i returned already early in the afternoon. Up to then i realised, that it is just not possible there to do anything of the few things i intended:

                1. doing a city tour: we had a city tour in a bus and they showed us beside the "Palast der Republik" the complete amount of sport and swimming halls, where the GDR olympionics were preparing for the next games. Nothing else.
                2. having a taxi ride in a Wolga: 9 of 10 taxi were Lada or Wartburg and about 200 people waiting at each taxi stand.
                3. buying a Soviet or GDR flag: They had only red ones without any sign
                4. having lunch in a typical guest house and drink an East beer: All restaurants were closed from 1-6 p.m. and we were a little late
                5. buy some normal things: the only supermarket we found was closed this afternoon

                The whole situation and the feeling there was very very uncomfortable and the voices in my head shouted: "you have to get out of here!" So i returned in the early afternoon to West-Berlin and had in one of the first restaurants a "Hefeweizen" and a big pizza and thought exactly this: "I will never..."

                Living in Stuttgart and being about 400km away from that border, it was easy to forget about that, also because our relatives from the East were mostly living in West Germany. But later i realised that there were people there, which had to live under such circumstances.

                However, when this news came in 1989, i thought: "this is a joke". We had heard about the people leaving via Hungary to Austria, the happening in the German embassy in Prague, but i did not believe, that this was the turning point.

                Two days later i heard, that one of the friends of my later parents in law arrived in Stuttgart with his Wartburg. He was visiting a disco in Kassel the first day, returned late in the night, realised that the fuel station was open (!) and they had fuel (!!), so he decided to fill up the tank and drive to Stuttgart.

                About two years later i had my first visit there, in Halle and Leipzig. At this time they just started to build up a new country. Most old factories were still running or standing there empty without windows. Walking through the nightly streets was very spooky, because the old quarters in the cities were abandoned. The people mostly lived in the suburbs in "Platte", the prefactured concrete buildings if the 60ies and 70ies. The old houses were empty and rotten. Perfect ghost town sceneries for post war agent movies or for science fiction movies after a nuclear catastrophy.

                No comparison to today, after 20 years...
                Last edited by Ralf__; November 24th, 2009, 12:56.
                Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you so very much - I find it very fascinating and interesting to read as experienced by someone who knows what happened and how it was like.
                  With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                  Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                  Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                  Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I still want to visit Leipzig and Dresden...

                    A reason to return!!!!!!

                    Thank you so much Ralf for taking the time to put down emotions in a post...very touching and personal.

                    Comment

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