19 October 2009: Berlin Wall / End of the GDR links for today

Here are today’s selected links concerning that very important moment in German History (and world history), the fall of the Berlin Wall. If you missed them, consider reviewing other recent entries containing Berlin Wall / GDR links. And don’t forget the Berlin Wall Resources page, which I’ve updated just today.

Now on to today’s links:

  • With the teaser “Barack is too busy”, Der Spiegel (in English) announces that the U.S. President will not attend Berlin’s celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Rick Richman, at his Commentary blog, wishes it were otherwise.
  • The Telegraph meets up with Egon Krenz, who congratulates himself on avoiding blood shed in October and November 1989.
  • At Forbes.com, Joshua Hammer celebrates the Berlin that has emerged in the last 20 years since the Wall fell. He calls the German capital “the most dynamic city in Europe.” And he reminds us that it wasn’t always so:
    For until the mid-19th century, Berlin was a backwater. Goethe called it “crude.” Voltaire said it had “astoundingly many bayonets and very few books.” Stendhal wondered, “What could have possessed people to found a city in the middle of all this sand,” referring to the marshy plain upon which the city is built.

Today’s video cannot be embedded here on the page, I’m afraid. But it’s a good one, and it’s only the first in a planned series of five at the Guardian. So I recommend you go have a look. Part One is called ‘The Berlin Wall was a monster'”, quoting one of the persons interviewed for the video.

About the Author

Bill Dawson is an American citizen who, having married an Austrian, lives and works in Vienna, Austria. A programmer by trade, he studied history as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley.