Berlin 19891219

Nico, Solveig, and I went to the Reichstag Museum in the afternoon. We easily spent a few hours in there. As we left, Nico mentioned the protest and attracted the attention of yet another American, Dave. He would join us. We were late in arriving at Alexanderplatz, and the protest had begun. The theme was that of being against Kohl’s reunification plan, that any unification would render the GDR as a banana republic since it is so relatively underdeveloped. These people were clearly against any German unification

There were thousands and thousands of marchers. It made American university student smaller, special-interest protests laughable. It was exhilarating like no other experience I have had. Solveig translated some of the slogans and chants: “Nazis (Go) Home”, “No Fourth Reich”, “Kohl (Go) Home”. There were many GDR flags and numerous banners. Walking the route, I was surprised to see not one policeman.

The procession ended at the Academia building where Kohl was visiting. On top of the stairs I could see there must have been at least 20,000 people. There began some speeches. At one point, we met someone from NBC News. He was trying to find an East German who spoke English, and we happened to have one with us. He recorded a live interview with our friend Solveig (anyone see me?).

At the protest we met an Englishman, named Kevin, who joined us as well. Walking back in West Berlin, we stopped to have a diplomatic chat with an East German patrol guard at the Wall. We spoke with him through a large hole in the Wall. It was an unequalled photo opportunity. He informed us that the patrol force was down to 30% of regular level. He could not offer us any information about the rumor that there would be new breakage in the Wall at Brandenberg Gate. We heard it would be in a few days, and I decided to stay longer to witness history.

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