On the front page of the March 2-3 Wall Street Journal the headline above the color photo announced “Berlin Wall Still Divides Germans.”
Underneath the photo of an art-filled wall segment in front of which protesters and police stood, the caption read: “SAVE THE WALL: Protesters scuffled with police Friday to spare a 25-meter stretch of the Berlin Wall from removal in a construction project.”
(This blog post photo of a segment of the Berlin Wall is actually in Los Angeles, across from the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art.)
The Berlin Wall has interested me since my husband and I were stationed in Munich, Germany, from September 1970 to May 1972.
He was a U.S. Army officer with the 18th Military Intelligence Battalion and I eventually got a security clearance and a civilian job with the 66th Military Intelligence Group. Because of this, we were under certain security restrictions.
For one, we had to fly to West Berlin rather than take the duty train from Frankfurt so that we could not be pulled off the train by the East Germans and interrogated. In West Berlin we were not allowed to visit East Berlin.
We stood on the viewing stand at Checkpoint Charlie and looked over towards East Berlin. We also visited the small Checkpoint Charlie museum that described the heartbreaking attempts that had been made by East Germans to escape to freedom.
According to the Journal article, the protesters wanted to prevent construction workers from removing one of the remaining stretches of the Wall. It was to be moved “to build a road to a new luxury condominium being constructed on the banks of the Spree River.”
What I found most interesting is that apparently this section is one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions. “It was recently restored at a cost of more than [$2.6] million to the city.” (One does wonder why Berlin city officials would first restore it and then demolish it.)
After the Wall came down in 1989, my husband Mitch wrote a screenplay, THE WIDOW SPRINGER, which I later joined in writing with him. The story deals with what happens when people overnight go from being on the “correct” side to the “incorrect” side of a repressive regime.
The screenplay of THE WIDOW SPRINGER has been optioned twice but still not produced. Currently it is available to be read via the Amazon Studios site. Click here to read it now.
In addition, the fall of the Wall in 1989 is the incident that brings about the events a few years later in 1997 that occur in my romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY. This story also involves the theme of betrayal. Click here to see CIA FALL GUY on Amazon.
I have one other personal connection to the fall of the Wall, which actually occurred on November 9 of 1989. On November 9 of 1970 I had sat in my Army-issued Munich apartment reading about the Holocaust.
That date was when I first became aware of the November 9-10, 1938, Kristallnacht (night of broken glass) when the Nazis orchestrated a “spontaneous” attack against the Jews.
(Definitely not spontaneous. The German woman I worked with at the Army-Air Force Motion Picture Service before my security clearance came through was a teenager in night school that night in Munich. She told me the students were sent home early in preparation for the “spontaneous” action.)
How ironic that the fall of the Wall — signaling the coming together of the two parts of Germany — occurred on the same date that the attacks on Jews in Germany heralded the horrors the Nazis were about to unleash on so very many people and countries and then ultimately on their own country.
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy story CIA FALL GUY.
She also has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com