26 July 2009

The cross of trees

Today the Protestant Church in Central Germany celebrated the second of two radio services to mark the peaceful revolution of 1989. This one came from Ifta, a 1200 resident village that will be 750 years old in 2010, and which lay in the former border strip west of Eisenach. Following the sealing of the border between East and West Germany in 1953 - eight years before the building of the Berlin Wall - only those with a special permit had access to the 5-kilometre-wide border strip. In 1990 people from East and West planted a Baumkreuz - a crossing with one row of trees running along the east-west highway and the other along the former "death strip". Each year a BAUMKREUZ community meets. The sermon was preached by Ralf-Uwe Beck, the pres offiicer of the church who was himself born in Ifta. "People in 1989 discovered that they were citizens who were able to speak for themselves. They went out of the churches with candles in their hands and onto the street for justice, peace and integrity of creation."


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