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18 years later in Berlin

Just after leaving for Italy from West Berlin, the Berlin wall was collapsed. I have the friend who has such dramatic experience. Me myself, of course, don't have the precious experience like that, although I remember the news clearly. And recently, I've visited Berlin for the first time. 18 years have passed since collapsing the wall.

It's true I thought "I should have come here much earlier" at first. Because in many meanings, the former East and West border has almost faded.
Of course, there are many different appearances between ex-East and West Berlin even now, like a tram train or an architecture, for instance. But for the people who don't know the old Berlin with the wall, it's a just one of the characters as a capital city of Germany. And I am the one.
Generally speaking, tourists are so merciless. They must be seeking some traces for Berlin as a special city which has tragic history. So did I ...

Actually, I see many vacant lots when I walk around the city. The vacant space looks so purposeful in the landscape. So I can guess it used be the wall. However the wall itself has almost gone except preserved as a monument. In front of the monumental wall, tourists take a snap photo.

The baby who was born in 1989 is now 18 years old. The generation who doesn't know the existence of the wall is now becoming to the majority of society. Maybe they look the monument just like me, as a relic. The wall will be fading out from the people's mind. It's regrettable but nothing can escape from passing time.

However, the more people live peacefully in the brilliant capital city of unified Germany, the more I think "What was the 40 years which had been separated by the wall?" Is it only me thinking like that? No. Maybe the Berliner who knows the wall period must feel it more than me. What was the people's life which had been separated with family entire life or the people's life which was lost for trying to cross the border?

What a tiny life it is under the crazy military balance of the super powers! War or conflict is always like that. As running away from violence of power, a man is so tiny. The tragic history of war has ended here in Berlin. But even now, they repeat the same mistake some where in the world and another wall is newly built.

In the 18th year of the post - wall, Berlin which became an ordinary city still told me a lot of things.

Feb. 2008

Today's piece
"The wall" Berlin, Germany 2007

Wall of the 21st century vol.3

fumikatz osada photographie