Twenty years….

Twenty years ago I was a young enlisted guy living in Western Germany at a small airbase.  We were there for one main reason: slow down the invading hordes if Ivan ever decided to come pouring through the Fulda Gap to further the Soviet cause.  We knew who the bad guys were, so did they.  Once or twice a year we’d get the chance to take a trip to the Inter-German border and watch them watching us watching them.  It was a strange feeling.

My boss there took a trip to Berlin prior to the wall coming down and wrote a piece for the base paper.  I’ve tracked him down and asked for a copy if he still has one. If I can get my hands on it, and he’ll let me, I’ll post it.  It’s a pretty moving read and just one guy’s impressions of the beginning of the end of the Cold War as we knew it.

My memories are nowhere near as eloquent.   I remember all the East Germans coming into town, the short term “growing pains”  as they were assimilated into society and accepted (or not) by their western brethren.   My landlord worked in a large bakery near the village we lived in.  He’d come home and complain about the lack of work ethic the former Easterners brought over and that the West German government directed companies to employ them.   His favorite quip from them was “They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work.” 

Something evidently worked during the Cold War.  Both sides came close to the brink several times, stared each other down, and each time one or the other blinked.  In the end, the Soviets backed down and and that wall came down.  I have a piece of it somewhere. 

I hope the gang in charge take a few moments to reflect on those days and the history which brought us to where we are today.




1 Response to “Twenty years….”

  1. 1 Da Goddess November 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    There are those who are trying to say the Wall coming down was a bad thing. I say piss on ’em.

    I remember that day…I remember the goosebumps I got over the idea that the world felt a little safer, that our president had somehow convinced the world that it was time. I remember.

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