Tuesday, November 10, 2009
GERMANY 1989, SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR!
By sheer fluke, my uni course meant I was sent to live in Germany, or rather West Germany, from March till August of 1989. Daily I watched on the news as more and more people trickled across the DDR border into Czechoslovakia then over to the West, not realizing that what I was witnessing firsthand was about to be one of the most important historical events of my lifetime. It was exciting, but none of us knew at the time whether it was a temporary situation that would be stopped again by some Soviet tank or whether the DDR would simply end up empty! Even in the August it wasn't obvious that the wall had to come down. It seems unimaginable with hindsight that we didn't see it coming!
In August I moved back to France (Besançon) where I stayed till October. I must have returned to the UK around 5 October to matriculate for my last year at uni. I must say I was kicking myself when the wall came down that week - if I'd known how close I'd come to witnessing in the flesh the demise of the wall I'd heard so much about from my dad throughout my childhood (he often worked in Berlin), then I'd have jumped on a plane to Berlin rather than Glasgow!