The GRAND tour of Berlin
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 9 of 25 › view all entries
Berlin, a city once divided rejoined in 89 as the Communist regime was overthrown and the wall separating those in the East from freedom, was demolished. The West was given all types of liberties and freedoms while the East lacked even the simplest luxury.. visiting family. The W. was given freedom to own stores.. freedom of enterprise.. while the E. was run by the gov't. People who had just experienced the tyranny of Hitler and the Nazi dictatorship found themselves beneath another dictatorship.. in another place where all of their actions were watched and analyzed. They lived in constant fear. I can't even begin to imagine what this must have been like for those in the E. nor for those in the W. incapable of helping their family or loved ones.
A story was told of an E. Berlin man desperate to escape to freedom into the W. He managed to jump over the gate, cross many barriers, but was shot by the E. Berlin police just as he was about to cross the final barrier to set himself free. As he lay on the ground injured and bleeding to death, the W. police close enough to help, yelled at the EB police asking them to be able to help the man and take him to the hospital. They were denied. They tried to help by throwing gauze to the man in hopes of stopping the blood flow. They kept shouting asking for the EB police to take mercy on this man and ended up waiting a grueling and agonizing 50-60 minutes until the man bled to death. It was only at this moment that the EB police came over and picked up his body. For this man, the attempt in itself was worth it. He knew what dangers lied out there, and he must have decided it would be better to perish than to live without freedom. It makes me wonder if I truly appreciate and value freedom today as this man so obviously did.