For the week ahead

I date the exact moment to when one of the crowd turns to the senior border guard and says: \”Don\’t be stupid\”.

From the moment that those who can arrest, imprison, shoot, are held in contempt, not fear, then liberty has won.

And from the Reichstag.

And don\’t forget the Hungarians. If anyone can find it, I want to see the footage of this event:

Almost exactly 28 years later, on August 19, 1989, Hungarian border guards opened a gate on the Austrian border, allowing hundreds of East Germans to flee.

It should be out there.

Hungarians weren\’t the only ones who wanted to cross. That summer, tens of thousands of East Germans, who were strictly forbidden to enter the West, had used their vacation weeks to drive south through Czechoslovakia to Hungary, a cavalcade of cheap Trabant cars chasing rumours of openings in the border, hoping to get around their country\’s impermeable walls and decaying economy.

5 comments on “For the week ahead

  1. I wonder what the guards were thinking. They look bewildered and very, very isolated. ‘We’re gonna get shot’?

    A misinterpreted communication brings the Berlin wall down because the people can move faster than the bureaucracy. Take away the power of the collective and even East German border guards make rational decisions.

    The more the State tries to clamp it’s hands around our throats the weaker it gets. Just as the more legislation the Government brings in the more loopholes it creates.

  2. I was in the first few weeks of my Physics degree in London when the wall came down. It’s an abiding regret of mine that I didn’t have the courage of my convictions and book a cheap flight to Berlin to take part in such an epoch-making event.

  3. What’s still amazing (to me) to comprehend is that
    Reagan had not a single supporter for his speech among all his advisors. His speech in Berlin was, more or less, the equivalent of Samson bringing down the Temple through his lone effort.

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