Authors: Peter and Anne Whitehead
Date Submitted: March 31, 2009
Article Type: Discourse

September 1989, West Berlin. This is two months before the wall was torn down. A thought that was inconceivable to most East Germans in their lifetime. But the wall coming down is another story. We are lucky enough to have small pieces from both sides of the wall: a smudgy, shitty, yellow piece of wall from the East and a wonderfully colored piece of the wall from the West.

This is a time before most people had heard of the internet (or its predecessor, ARPANet) or cell phones. And cell phones had not become the thing that you can’t live without. Both sides of the Cold War were still cautious of the other, especially the East Germans. We were told that people in the East had phones but did not know what their phone number was until someone called them and told them what number they had dialed. This was so that people could say they had a phone. It was similar to the jokes about the Trabant car. You had to order the car at least 10 years in the future, but the question always was, would it be ready by two o’clock of the assigned day?

Now back to the story of a visit to Lindenberg in these times.

We flew into Berlin to attend a kite festival in Halle (East Germany) and visit West Berlin the following weekend.

Page Number: 37
PDF Link: Discourse Issue