November 9, 2009

the wall

When I  first saw the Berlin’s Wall, I was nine and the wall five years old. I was with my parents and my older brother in a trip. It was devastating to see. Then, there were a lot of buildings with the windows closed with concrete because they where in the border. They where talking of lives broken apart families divided like mine was once, (but thanks God and the great suffering of my parents we reunited). I saw the traps on the other side to make impossible a person to cross the border  running or driving. I remember silence. An awkward silence. It was dark yet when we arrived to the Brandemburg gate. There was no wall yet, only barber-barriers all around, and a lot of signs with Achtung!  or Danger!, Your life is in danger! Do not trespass! and so on written in them in several languages. But you could see the other side. Again, nothing. Traps, soldiers, weapons and silence. On the west side all life, on the east side silence. Next day, in our side the flags  where all down: one man was killed trying to fly the communist side. Another one dead seeking liberty.

The last time I saw the wall was from TV working in my newsroom. I was busy editing the reports, moved by what I was seeing on the screen: the force of liberty. The hugs on the top of the infamous wall the screams of joy, the soldiers standing stunned. First was the silence of the death in that same post. Now the sinning, the feast of victory. No more silence, no more fear, no more death.

Now, 20 years after, I think in that new Europe that was born that 11/9 1989 and only can feel some kind of sadness. All this countries of center-eastern Europe gasping for liberty that found instead at the other side of Europe a bunch of countries competing to find new markets. People looking for help to consolidate as soon as possible some kind of separation from Russia and finding western diplomacy  (except Germans and Americans) telling them that they were going too fast ¿Too fast?. Countries without help in  their seeking for liberty (one of them mine, Croatia), ended in a chain of cruel wars and the diplomats knew the danger was there. “Wait, wait….” ¿Wait to see a tank bombing your home?.¿And then see come  international troops to stop de fighting an stay there forever?. If they do, the diplomats and politicians come back to their favorite song: wait, wait wait, and the problem is never solved as it happened in Bosnia or Kosovo. Germany didn’t wit, but they had a free and big Germany on the other side that know what to do. Good for them. Congratulations, from all my heart, and don’t let your chiladren forget what was the meaning of that wall.

Memory is weak. Now there are other walls raising (West Bank) Somebody had to remember what made the walls to the people before being so mild seeing that and doing nothing.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Dialog and diplomacy, World and Politics


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