Voices of U.S. Diplomacy and the Berlin Wall

Posted by Priscilla Linn
November 7, 2009
A Child Plays at a Remaining Segment of the Berlin Wall
East Berliners Get Helping Hands from West Berliners as They Climb the Berlin Wall
Berliners from East and West Crowd on Top of the Berlin Wall in Front of the Brandenburg Gate
Young Berliners Use a Hammer to Chisel Pieces of Concrete on Top of the Berlin Wall
Berliners Reach Out to Shake the Hands of East German Border Policemen
Two Women Hug Each Other at a Border Crossing Point in Berlin
Germans from East and West Celebrate Atop the Berlin Wall
Germans from East and West Stand on the Berlin Wall One Day After the Wall Opened
A Man Hammers Away at the Berlin Wall
A Passerby in Berlin Crosses a Memorial Strip Where the Wall Once Stood

About the Author: Priscilla Linn is the Senior Curator at the U.S. Diplomacy Center.

The U.S. Diplomacy Center invites you to view the online exhibition Voices of U.S. Diplomacy and the Berlin Wall. This exhibition commemorates the 20 years since the demise of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.

We invite you to share your memories and reflections here of this important date in history and the events in Germany and former communist states over the past two decades.

If the Wall fell before you were born, we are interested in your thoughts about the Wall as part of 20th century history. What is the value of studying the history of the Wall?

Please also let us know what you think of the online exhibition and the diplomatic oral histories you will read and hear, as this marks the first time they have been used in a museum exhibition.



Maryland, USA
November 7, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Again :), Department Netizens .

I think the people who work on this site are doing a very good job of help people around the world express our feelings about world event. :) So i would like to thank them for their work on keeping us update on event. Nice Job :).....People of our States Department..Blog.

As for the subject at hand, Germany is an extremely advanced country, and people so i think they are looking towards a very Bright Future not their past. :)

..See...Ya ..My Friends at the Department of States :).

Tennessee, USA
November 7, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Some walls were made to keep things in...

November 7, 2009

John in Greece writes:

Not necessarily IN Joe. In and Out...

Do you remember the scene with Robert?

In and out.
In and out, until the world is FREE.
Without walls!

And we made it!

November 7, 2009

John in Greece writes:

And now, my basic opinion. I may be wrong. Who knows?
They are building a "Wall" once again, most people can't see right now.

Who the builders are?
Same people, the Russians!

Louisiana, USA
November 9, 2009

Justin in Louisiana writes:

I remember my parents being fixed to the TV the day the wall began coming down. Being all of nine yeas old, the significance of the event was lost on me.

The online exhibition is nicely done. I'd just recommend adding some buffer time to the prologue video and the other videos found in the archive under "moving images". The current lack of any buffering causes the videos to play a bit jerky.

Tennessee, USA
November 10, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

In September and October 1969 my sister Betsy and I visited my brother George stationed in Bonn who was then Regional Security Officer, U.S. State Department. We traveled to Berlin by car through the Soviet block by auto with his wife Patrica driving a huge old Mercedes while my brother flew into West Berlin. Diplomats were not allowed nor would they have wanted to go through the checkpoints in what was then an illegal occupation of German soil by the Soviet Union.
We were made to display a Red Star on the driver side of the "green tank", as we called it. My sister-in-law stopped briefly but then as the guard started around the car she slammed the accelorator to the floor and almost ran the machine gun toating East German boarder guard under, all the while cursing him and pointing to the Red Star displayed unwillingly in the corner of the "green tank".

I know that myself, then a hefty 245 lb high school football player from Tennessee almost lost his lunch. My niece and two nephews and sister all comfortably seated in the back seat gasp but once through the checkpoint had one heck of a laugh. I fully expected to see a truck full of East German's chasing us down the autobahn but to my dismay nothing happened.

After meeting up with my brother in West Berlin we stayed about a week. Enjoy such sights as, well I remember the Hoff Brau House and there must have been others. My sister and I were treated to a visit to East Berlin through Check Point Charlie, stopping and sitting for a long time in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The trip had a lasting effect on me and I will always remember the experience.

December 16, 2009

Paige writes:

I lived in (West) Berlin from 1983 - 1986. It was a wonderful and scaring experience. I remember traveling to the East for shopping trips and to see the ballet. The difference in the the 2 sides of Berlin was amazing. I haven't been back since returning to the US. However, my husband and I plan to go there for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I can't wait. My father was in Berlin November 1989 and he said it was amazing.


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