Thursday, October 22, 2009

theme thursday = traffic

this and last picture from:
Artists Interpret The Wall (1985)
from Checkpoint Charlie

Compassion alone stands apart

from the continuous traffic

between good and evil

proceeding within us.

Eric Hoffer

click to enlarge (me, lower right)
The Wall, Berlin May 1990

Berlin Wall : 1961- 1989
Stopping Human Traffic
East to West and West to East

I was lucky enough to visit Berlin twice,
for a month each time, in '89 and '90
after the Wall came down.

To experience the first year, walking
in a field and being watched by a
person holding a rifle, was something
I'll never forget. Going through Checkpoint
Charlie and having to show a passport and
being asked questions, also not forgotten.

To see East Berlin while the Wall was up,
and to see how poor the people were and
the food that was being sold in their stores,
left another impression. Even more though,
was that some on the west side of the Wall,
thought they were better and looked down
on those in the east. Yet, they were all german.

Human traffic can be disconcerting sometimes.


Anonymous said...

I'll have to check out Eric Hoffer. Sounds like quite a guy.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Interesting hit. -Jayne

California Girl said...

I LOVE Eric Hoffer. Read "The True Believer" several times in college. I still have a copy.

Went to Germany in '71. I was 19. My girlfriend and I opted not to see Berlin as we were unwilling to go through Checkpoint Charlie on the off chance we wouldn't return. They did let Americans through on a limited basis and I had friends living over there who had gone. But, too scary for two young girls.

Wings1295 said...

Great take. I have never been, so it is cool to read about. Thanks!

Brian Miller said...

love that opening quote. i remember the wall coming down and what it meant...nice play coffee.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

great quote.

happy to see comments are back, the ability to add a comment disappeared last time I visited!

hope you get to go back for a visit to berlin, would be interesting to compare now to 1990 - I'd like to visit but no frame of comparison.

happy theme thursday!!

Tess Kincaid said...

I love that first poignant photo from the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.

I happened to be in Warsaw, Poland in November of '89 when the Wall came down. I'll never forget the euphoria in the air.

Brilliant take on the TT theme.

Ed said...

Nice take on the theme. It's so weird to think there was a wall at all. Kids in future generations won't get it...

RLM Cooper said...

The day the wall came down I was sitting in my car during lunchtime having my lunch and listening to the radio. I cried uncontrollably. People were being freed! It was so emotional...

Betsy Brock said...

Love the first says it all! Great TT take...really great.

e said...

I visited Checkpoint Charlie with my dad. We weren't allowed on the eastern side, but the difference between the two, from what one could see, was striking.

Great post.

Merle Sneed said...

It takes the great moments to remind us how sweet freedom is and how much we take for granted.

Lisa Ursu said...

Amazing quote(s).
Thanks for sharing this post.

Coffee Messiah said...

rlb: Anything he wrote is worth reading. Thanks for stopping by. Will make my way over, this weekend ; )

hh: Thanks.

cg: It was scary for me, and I was with 3 other germans ; )

wings: It was an interesting time, and realized that all we'd been told about the usa being the best, after what I saw being done there, simply wasn't/isn't true ; (

brian: Hey, Thanks.

kimy: It changed after the wall came down already, and have a few photos to show it. Would rather go to Greece, Italy or France or anywhere in Europe I've never been. I've seen enough of germany.

willow: Amazing what that symbol held for so many. Poland must have been pretty interesting then too.

ve: Isn't there talk of a fence on the border of the usa still? Seems that people will forever want to cut out those different than themselves ; (

am: It was an amazing event, to be sure.

betsy: It's a favorite for that reason ; )

e: Sad to say, it was and even more so, that many were still related, but due to the wall, they still acted as if they were from a foreign land, very strange.

merle: Sometimes I continue to wonder just how free we really are ?????

liza: Thanks.

Baino said...

Great post. I was going to do something on human trafficking but it became too complex. You've made the point with such a simple example. Fabulous that the wall has come down. I'll never forget watching it on TV.

Coffee Messiah said...

baino: Thanks. Even while people were chiseling pieces of the Wall down, the excitement in their voices and faces was overwhelming.