Bricks and mortar gone but the wall remains


By Meghan Brown

This coming Monday marks the monumental 20th anniversary of the fall of  The Berlin Wall. The wall was a symbol of the economic and political divisions that split East and West Germany.

The collapse of the wall was hailed as an end to the Cold War and social segregation. Historians and commentators have said that even with the 20 year unification of the two sides there are still divisions between German citizens.

People still believe that  such aspects as dialect and religion are still clear divisions between the two groups.

Frederick Tayor, a historian and author of the book ‘The Berlin Wall’ has said that there is still a sense of “nostalgia” for Easteners of the time when the wall was up. Such things as a guaranteed job, a state house, and a strong sense of  “social solidarity” have gone, leaving East Germans feeling lost.

In an article in this weeks ‘The Big Issue’, Tayor said: “Westeners are still, 20 years after reunification, apparantly lecturing their Eastern countrymen about how they refuse to work hard or take full responsibility for their own lives, instead of relying on the state to take care of everything.”

These comments show a clear difference in the mindset of those on either side of the Wall.

Even though these arguments carry on, the people of Germany will still unite on Monday for an event commemorating what they have lost, and gained, from the demise of the Wall. 

Exhibitions all over the country will celebrate the collapse of the Wall and the developments that Germany has undergone in the past 20 years. 

November 9 will see the climax of the celebrations with a large public party at the Brandenburg Gate. The Freedom Festival will begin with an open-air festival in front of the Parisier Platz. The fall of The Berlin Wall will be symbolised by the toppling of a domino wall which follows the entire length of the Wall itself.

In Glasgow, the Goethe Institute, an organisation celebrating all things German, are hosting events throughout the day on Monday, including a showing of  TV reports from across the world from the day the Wall fell.