Monday, November 9, 2009

Two Europes Becoming One

I thought this day would be fitting to write a blog about something that I consider to be one of the most significant events in our world's history. Today commemorates the 20-year mark since the Berlin Wall officially came down, ending communism in Europe. I remember going to Berlin a few years ago and taking a walking tour through a place with so so so much history. I remember being enthralled the whole time my tour guide spoke as we walked from the Holocaust Memorial, to the spot where Hitler's bunker used to be, and then to the spot where part of the Berlin Wall still sits. Throughout the city, you can see a curvy line of bricks that marks where the Wall once stood. It's amazing...the line goes through what is now streets, parks, it was never there. I was only 4 years old (almost 5!) when the Wall came down, and of course I don't remember a thing about it. After studying the time period extensively in college, and after living in a country which was once part of the Communist Bloc, I have grown to have a deep fascination with this part of our world's history, which effected so many people (I vividly remember a time in college when I realized I'd be Student Teaching during the Fall semester. I was legitimately disappointed and considered putting it off because this era in history is always taught in the Spring. Darn it!) And this day marks an anniversary of a day which would change the course of history in a huge way. While living in Hungary, I could see so many ways in which the communist era still has a great effect on society and culture. Along with that, it's overwhelming to see how far former Soviet countries like Hungary have come in rebuilding and restoring their own history and culture. The New York Times has a great little section on their website today with a couple of articles and pictures of the events commemorating this anniversary...I'm putting a link here to something I found most powerful on the website. It's a gallery of pictures taken by individuals both during communism and after the wall fell...take a look!

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