Thursday 13 August 2009

Tear down the walls

48 years ago the East German regime started to build the Wall.

This wall was the realisation of the largest prison that the world has ever seen. It materialised the walls in the heads and minds, and although this wall was torn down almost 20 years ago, it persists in too many of these heads and minds.

The Wall was the absolute example of a border. Borders are one of the evils that we have created in our history. They are constructions, meant to keep people apart.

Looking from the west, I was born behind the Wall. I would have been kept apart from many of the people I got to know during my life. But I am part of the lucky generation.

When I started to realise the world beyond the Soviet-style building block where I lived 20 years ago, the Wall had already gone.

What I saw was not a united Germany, I saw a united Europe. And I have been growing up with this view, thanks to parents who made use of these new opportunities and shared them with me.

Today, I live in a Union that opens its borders internally but is closed down to the world outside its own borders. 20 years after the Wall - the material representation of the division of Europe - was torn down, Europe is still divided. There are those who are in (i.e. in the EU). And those who are not.

As a former East German, I will continue to fight against these borders, because I want to share what I received, not least because I have plenty to share. I want everyone in. And I am ready to invest myself as much as I can to reach this goal.

48 years ago, the Wall was constructed. 20 years ago, its material representation removed. It is time to remove its immaterial leftovers!


Ralf Grahn said...


Perhaps you need to become more specific about what borders are and the obstacles you want to erase, internally and externally.