Monday, 15 August 2011
Last Saturday saw the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall. Of course, I wasn't there. But my parents were. My father was born in Berlin, and my mother moved there, through the iron curtain, in 1962, and eventually, they would meet there, in Berlin, and marry, and have first my sister, then me.
Because large parts of my family lived in East Germany, I may have more of an understanding of the wall than my contemporaries, I don't know - I was 14 when the wall came down. I do remember the summer of 1989, the feeling building up that something momentous was going to happen, but not quite realising how momentous it might be. Because, you see, the wall was *there*. It was in people's minds as well as in concrete, it had become the status quo. I had not known the country any way other than divided. But things can change. People, no matter how fragile or small they might look individually, can make a difference. A big enough lump of glass will tear down barbed wire and concrete.
The wall came down in 1989, Germany has been re-united for 21 years. I's not all rosy - which country is?
But if recent events here in the UK may have made a dint in our beliefs in humanity, or the future, then let's look at the tea cups served on riot shields, the army of brooms, and let's remember that there are more good people than bad people out there in the world.