Saturday, 19 January 2013

Diary entry - 4th November, 1989: The March to Freedom

The crowds marched and marched through the streets, exhilaration in their copious eyes, desire at the front of the pack, pounding his heavy feet on the wet roads of East Berlin (or the ‘GDR’ if I am obliged to utter those letters). Buildings were captured from your view by banners wielded by East Berliners, as we marched onwards towards Alex.
Alexanderplatz was euphoric as the difficult darkness was shrouded over the evening sun. Placards waved in the moonlight, demanding what the people wanted. East Berlin was in a state of protest tonight as people flooded the streets. The lights of Alex shone through the night, keeping our eager eyes alert. The youth of East Berlin kept on in the wintry streets, long after the elderly lay down in their beds. So in a Wolfgang Kapp style we stood with the Fernsehturm looming over us. A roof of umbrellas rested over our heads as the night grew colder. “Reformen! Aber unbegrenzt!” Here is a personal message to you, Egon Krenz: 30 days is not enough. We want the right to be able to travel for as long as we want. We want to leave East Germany. We want to emigrate. We want to go home. We want freedom... Our eyes focused diligently on the screen overhead, and in my mind I repeated Reagan’s words: “Mr Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” American cameras captured our bitter faces as we trembled in the cold of the night, indeed growing colder minute by minute. As the temperature plummeted, the platz was filtered by the masses until a few remained, still with their brandished banners.
I write this sitting in the warmth of my apartment, bashing out each letter on my wearied type-writer. The fire softly flickers heat to my left side. Hatred inhabits my heart in abundance. The Stasi continue to dominate our society as we live in a perverted state of ‘justice’. Must Berliners be oppressed by a foreign government for any longer? “Ich bin ein Berliner” are the words that bring pity to my ears. Pity for the people living under the Communists and the brutal Stasi. Pity for myself. Communism will be the down-fall of all of Eastern Europe, and one by one in bountiful numbers countries will collapse under the suppressing regime.
Within a week, the Berlin wall was torn down my members of East and West Germany. In 1990, Germany was unified once more.

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