1 November 2009

History from above

I have just finished listening to a BBC progamme How the Wall Fell, in which John Tusa brought together key protagonists of the moves towards the opening of the Berlin Wall and German unity for a reunion discussion about the decisions that led to the 9 November 1989 ... except that there was no one from the GDR there - US, Soviet, British and West German diplomats and politicians got in on the act, but the only person really to mention the role that the people of the GDR themselves had in the events was the British ambassador, who referred to the demonstration in Berlin on 7 October and who said the East German people had played an amazing role in ensuring that the events passed off peacefully (and also who noted that given the state violence in October it was by no means clear whether there would be a peaceful outcome to the events). No one, but no one from the GDR there - neither from the SED side (Schabowski comes to mind, though there are others) nor from the opposition - Markus Meckel who was a co founder of the Social Democratic Party in the GDR and then the foreign minister who was in the 2+4 talks from the GDR side. ... maybe it was just a "technical" problem in that their English wasn't good enough.

A people rise up, and are air brushed out of history ...


Jane said...

Thanks for saying this - re-reading my diary from that time it is so powerful to see that it was the people who did it - they were inspired and they became inspiring

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