It’s funny, but back then in the summer of 1989, things were still very tense around “The Wall”. I wanted to bring our daughters down to it to show them what “The Wall” was like and what it meant for the people of the two Berlins. As they stood on the observation deck at Check Point Charlie I saw their faces become serious. They could see the Border Guards on the East Berlin side, toting their machine guns. I think until they actually saw that “The Wall” truly separated neighborhoods and families, they just couldn’t fathom it. Growing up in the US where the only wall you know is in your house, or a fence in your yard, doesn’t prepare you for what the Russians did in Berlin.
We took the girls on the Military Bus Tour over to East Berlin. They had a chance to see children playing near a cafe where we ate lunch, but I also brought them into a grocery store where they could see the very limited provisions available there.
So they would not remember the negatives of the East, I also brought them into the department store Kaufhaus Am Alexanderplatz, a toy store where they had model trains and a camera store. While Hubby was looking at a camera there, the clerk took this picture.
I’m glad we were able to bring Amanda and Jess over to Berlin that summer. It’s easy to take for granted being free if you never see and experience a society that has had their freedom stolen from them. It had a profound impact on me and I know it did with both of our daughters.