Posts Tagged ‘oppression’

The Berlin Wall, My Part of it’s Downfall

November 12, 2009

I have a piece of the Berlin Wall, a piece that is now twenty years old.

Want to see it?

My piece of the Berlin Wall

It’s not a big piece, about the same size you see here, a few inches across. It is painted in grey, several layers of varying shades.

It is made from cheap concrete with no aggregate, just sand, cement, and a few tiny stones. Such concrete has no strength of its own. And that was the wall. The only strength it had was in the oppression of the people who lived behind it.

It is quite a strong symbol for me. It says something of the way we lock parts of ourselves away somewhere. And many years later those parts cry so loud to be free that there is no choice but for some weak pretence of protection to crumble within us.

People sometimes ask where I got the piece. Simple answer. My Uncle Barry got it when the wall went down twenty years ago. Uncle Barry was a diplomat and back then he was Australian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Romania. When the wall came down, my uncle was there.

People have taken pieces of that wall to the ends of the earth. One of them ended up with me.