Wednesday, October 3, 2007

German Reunification

Yay, today's a public holiday here in Germany and I got to sleep in. Well not really but I was sleeping for a whole 30 minutes more. Those and the knowledge that we did not have to go into work in the middle of the week may have made all the difference.

While I lay in bed my mind wandered off and I was thinking to what event we actually owe this holiday. Seventeen years ago on this day Germany was reunited. I was fourteen years old then and so totally excited. Things had changed so much since November 9th in 1989,the year before the reunification, the wall came down. Some really frightening happenings were preceding this event. Back then I was thirteen years of age. I was a happy kid, safe in my loving family. I had great friends. In October the Monday demonstrations reached their climax and each day you came into school another one of your classmates was gone. His family had packed up and made their way through the Czech Republic via Hungary and Austria to West-Germany.

I remember being scared shitless. Always afraid my parents would take the same route, we'd get caught and separated. I had nightmares. I vividly remembered watching the news on TV (West German television- we lived so close to the border that we were able to receive their programs) with my mom and I literally begged her not to go. My mom would calm me down and tell me to relax. She said they had no plans to follow suit.

On November 9th she woke me up and told me that the wall was done and it was all over the news. My Mom, Dad and I all watched on in disbelief. We cried silently. It was just amazing and I don't think I could understand fully what that meant. It was another four weeks before I actually set foot onto West German ground but I remember every minute of it.

So in honor of this day I will actually have a long think about where I'd be without all the events and demonstrations preceding the reunification. It really means a big deal to me.


Mags said...

Wow. Being a blogger really opens me up and makes me remember that the words written in history books are so very real the people who lived through it.

I'm sorry you had to live with that fear as a young teenager-going through normal teenage stuff is bad enough, but that added stress-horrible.

Thanks for sharing your feelings-I'm glad your parents didn't follow suit.

Kat said...

Hi Mags, sometimes it is creepy to realise that what you once thought was normalcy and part of your life is now in the history books. And every day another page is added :)