Could you just imagine baby ostriches running around your house? I like the sound of their feet on the carpet.
Hey, this is what I look at on YouTube at 3:30 a.m. It could be worse.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The media and the internet are having a field day celebrating the anniversary, and we’re seeing a lot of footage of the demolition.
But I think the video below drives home exactly what that wall stood for and why it had to come down, more than any of the other videos I’ve seen. When I went to Europe in 1982, we couldn’t go to West Berlin. We went to Bonn, instead. We never thought the Berlin Wall would come down short of Armageddon, and it’s really hard to explain to those born much later how ominous a symbol that wall was to anyone raised during the Cold War.
Perhaps it was equally as difficult for my parents and their peers in the WWII generation to explain how they felt about the wall going up. But my father, who fought in the European theater, made one point clear: The East German people would not be their government. He knew by the way the German rank-and-file soldiers surrendered, and by the way the people in the towns reacted, that they would go to great lengths to avoid surrendering to the Russians, and how grateful they were when Americans came to occupy instead. The people knew what would happen if they wound up under a Russian net, and that it would be awful.
How complicit in the Holocaust average Germans of that time were and whether they perhaps deserved such a fate as a matter of karma is a touchy subject. There is evidence that many average Germans knew more than they let on, but my father knew the underground networks and saw what war did to the citizenry and how they felt about it–right down to the horror of seeing, with his own eyes while occupying a small town outside of Hamburg, a 9-year-old German boy step on a mine and the mother cry out that she thought the hell was over but now knew it would never truly be. Regardless, one thing is true: Their children and their grandchildren who wound up in East Germany and East Berlin did not deserve the conditions in which they lived during the Cold War. The fall of the Berlin Wall represented an end to the undeserved punishment of subsequent generations in the aftermath of a bloody, horrific war.