My Impression of East Berlin

vickylass By vickylass, 9th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/26x0ejcv/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Biography & Autobiography

On the image I have of East Berlin when I visited it.

My Impression of East Berlin

The newspapers today show me images of the celebration of the fall of what was known the wall of shame. I see thousands of people queuing along the place where it was. I listen to different people telling on their experiences and feelings on that day in 1989 and I agree with what a lady tells us when she first entered in East Berlin on that night. ''It was very dark. There were almost no shops or public lightening. It was as if one was entering in a different world.''
It's the way I felt when my friend and I entered in East Berlin for a short visit in the late seventies.
This friend of mine and I had been travelling in Germany and we, obviously, wanted to visit Berlin. As foreign visitors, we could enter in East Berlin for few hours. After having shown our passports and given permission to go on the other side, we, at last, achieved to go outside the Frederikstrasse station.
It was mid October and, therefore, it was dark, cold, damp and not many people walked about in the streets. As we left the station, we spotted a bright bookshop, showing many copies of Marxist literature on its shelves and it was, perhaps, this shop that lit that piece of a wide avenue. As we left it behind and continued walking in this wide avenue, darkness increased.
'' You know what?'' I told my friend, '' I'm thirsty. I wouldn't mind a couple of glasses of beer.''
After a long walk in streets that we didn't know, equally dark and empty, we spotted what seemed a bar. It gave a bit of gaiety in a dark and empty street. It is true. After having been in the West side, it was as we had entered in another world. There, we had some beer and we talked with a guy. When we left the bar, we continued walking in the streets. We were hungry and after our walk we found a shop that sold food. It was poorly lit. A man gestured at us, meaning that we had to help ourselves. The bread had to be sliced on a wooden board and he sold us something to fill our bread. Not much to choose from and his salami, ham or cheese hadn't appealing colours.
On the sweet shelves, I spotted bars of chocolate, but not being ready to pay half the money that we had been obliged to exchange to enter in East Berlin, I shoplifted that bar of chocolate into my pocket.
There, sitting in what seemed a small green, we ate our bread rolls, the chocolate and went back to the underground train carriage that had brought us into this world of darkness, cold and damp.
I never went back to Berlin, but I'd like to see it without that wall of shame.
. This friend of mine, with whom I'd travelled, had a stopover in Berlin not very long ago and she wrote me '' you wouldn't recognize this city from the time we went. There isn't so much lightening in what was West Berlin that I think was to impress the people on the other side... But I'd like to spend more time to visit this city that I think it's very much appealing...'
It was the late 70's and I thought back then that their rulers could have as well spent a bit more on public lightening, having as they had the support of of the powerful Soviet Union. If only a bit more public lightening...

(C} Copyright. Vicky Pino. November 9th 2014.

Tags

Bookshop, Celebration, Dark, East Berlin, Lightening, Wall, World

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author avatar vickylass
Feature article writer whose motto is that inspiration does exist, but it has to meet us at work.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Nov 2014 (#)

My parents in law where there before the wall came down, they said it was so odd, they met a guy who had to drive all the way around it just to get to work every day.

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author avatar Retired
11th Nov 2014 (#)

Mark, That sounds like the ordeal that the Israelis impose on the Palestinians with their own "Berlin Wall". Some things never seem to change.

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author avatar Retired
11th Nov 2014 (#)

Vicky, That was interesting - it reminded me of my visits to Warsaw and Moscow at around the same time.

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author avatar vickylass
11th Nov 2014 (#)

Thanks John! Berlin will be one of my next journeys, keeping in mind what this friend and travelling companion told me during his last and brief visit.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
11th Nov 2014 (#)

Interesting city, pity I never saw when the wall of infamy was up and later thrown down by many Germans happy with the change, interesting post Vicky!

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