25 year conmemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall February 1989 - February 2014With tram M10 from Berlin Wall to Berlin Wall
February 25 years ago was a sad month. In February 1989, a GDR citizen, who was trying to escape, was shot for the last time. Chris Gueffroy , 20 years old, tried to leave the GDR together with a friend. He was shot twice and killed in the attempt. Erich Honecker claimed only a few days later, that there were no orders to shoot at the wall. Why Chris Gueffroy and so many others had to die in the flight attempt, when there would have been no shooting orders, this question remaind unanswered by Honecker. The question of the shooting order is a subtle legal matter. It is true, there was no explicit document, signed by Honecker, that ordered to shoot. The shooting order consisted of a series of various regulations and directives to prevent a "violation of the border" under all circumstances, with all means, even under use of the firearm.
As I set out in July 1984 to escape from the GDR, nearly 30 years ago, about the same age as Chris Gueffroy, I didn't even try to cross the Berlin Wall. The Wall seemed to me absolutely unsurmountable. After several unsuccessful attempts in Hungary and Thuringia, I had to find out, that the Iron Curtain of 1984 was impermeable and my hope was in vain for a weak point in the border system . My arrest saved my life before I could run into the shooting fire from border guards and the West-German paid ransom money brought me to the West, into freedom. "You have been forgotten to be shot", an enraged man shouted to me once in the late 2000 years. Chris Gueffroy was mercilessly shot. He had hoped for grace and a possible rethinking of the GDR ? in vain. In February 1989, the Hungarian state party had just officially abandoned its monopoly on power and announced to dismantle the deadly border installations. The GDR was far from doing anything like that In East Germany, the rulers still celebrated themself in October 1989, until the people would could no longer be walled in. In February 1989 socialism in the GDR was still research - the fall of the Berlin Wall was far away.
On the guided tour "From Berlin Wall to Berlin Wall with the M10", we drive with the tram from the Berlin Wall Memorial to the East Side Gallery. In both places, the Berlin Wall looked completely different, but was equally insurmountable. Between the two wall sections, we drive through (East-)Berlin's history, GDR ideology changing through the years, and through the vivid Berlin of today.