What Lessons Can We Learn From the Fall of the Berlin Wall?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 7, 2009
Germans From East and West Stand on the Berlin Wall

November 9 marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Secretary Clinton travels to Berlin to represent the United States at the 20th anniversary commemoration and meet with senior German officials. Prior to her trip, Secretary Clinton said, "For Americans, our relationship with Germany is rooted in our commitment to freedom and democracy."What lessons can we learn from the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Comments

Comments

Ari C.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
November 7, 2009

Ari in Pennsylvania writes:

Dear Colleagues,

The Fall of the Berlin Wall says:

1) Walls cannot seperate humanity very long, ever. We humans need each other and will find a way around them no matter how well constructed.

2) The Human Spirit is a FREE Spirit full of life, hope, and refuses to be limited for very long. Even threats of death cannot ever squash that hope, so it's futile to threaten. It is better to embrass and help the hopes and dreams of people to their fullest.

3) Time is a very long. Every government has a limited time to function and then it will change based on the needs of the People. Every government must keep this in mind- AMEN.

Shabbat Shalom.

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
November 7, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi: I think this shows that people can achieve great things if they work together . Which is something that our communities can learn from the people of Germanys cooperation, towards a united people .

... See .Ya..:)

Ron
|
New York, USA
November 7, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Lessons:

The desire for Freedom grows stronger when it is denied.

Freedom is not given; it is taken.

Freedom cannot be walled in; or out.

The Wall in Berlin did not fall; it came down by many hands.

Now we face the bondage of CyberWalls.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 7, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. Freedom without food is not freedom at all...

2. A political adversory who once was strong, will not stay in that situation and use all external divices to regain their Nationalistic position and International footing.

3. Monetary and technological charatiable contributions to a former adversary, may be used against you in the future.

Heather
|
South Dakota, USA
November 7, 2009

Heather in South Dakota writes:

Barriers -- physical, cultural, gender-based, what have you -- do not facilitate peace or growth. They are a degrading and lazy solution to our most difficult problems. Foreign Policy had a great article talking about "Today's Berlin Walls."

John
|
Wisconsin, USA
November 8, 2009

John in Wisconsin writes:

The imprisonment of a Nation/culture/society never has a very long life. It accomplishes nothing more than generations of "ill-will". Blood is needlessly shed, families are torn apart, even separated. Its members moving accross continents, never to be together again. Family heirlooms and treasures lost forever, and their culture becomes extinct.

Sometimes, through warfare, and a society's desire to continue on. A nation may survive these ravage attempts by others to squelch their existence. Whereby, the costs to human lives seems inconsequential. They survived and so does their beautiful culture, and life continues to exist. Only to realise/find that they also have harnessed the "free-will" of others, causing them to submit. Submit by default, and through fear of oppression.

In Berlin we saw a society that stood tall. They quietly organized and plotted the taking back of their cultural heritage. They became incideous with their attempts to regain what was their's. And cruedly fought for freedom with an army of cunning participants. They became an army of "untrained fighters" and Won.

I paraphrase..the young Indian Fighter in battle " with his bow broken and last arrow spent, he shoots ... he shoots with his whole heart". It takes a bravehearted soul to be willing to stand and do battle with his enemies. If what you have is yours and is worth fighting for. You will do battle. If what you have is "little to nothing" living in oppression. You have little soul of heart to battle with. And extinction would seem a natural course.

palgye
|
South Korea
November 8, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Congraturations to "Remarks at No Limits"(it`s very hard, sees video. Anything there is not to a grudge) and, Is a thought which is personal

*Fall of the Berlin Wall? - Endless effort and money

*Honduras - only one...

*Afghanistan - the alliance government..
(Combines about external influence and opposes there to be a propensity, Thinks that the territory and support layer only of two influence all themselves exist. With the power which is visible in the eye is visible, or, force is not but the reformative influences which exist.)

Sarah
|
Illinois, USA
November 11, 2009

Sarah in Illinois writes:

As a U.S. citizen married to a man who was born in East Germany, the fall of the Berlin Wall reminds me daily that walls STILL existing in our world prevent human connection, understanding, and happiness.

A Nation of people CAN actualize themselves peacefully.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 12, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Some walls are made to keep things in...

A lesson occurs after time pass's and the facts are re evaluated all too often...

Susan
|
Florida, USA
November 12, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

Thoughts on the Berlin Wall...after the fall of Berlin we compromised our principles and allowed Germany to be divided. As a nation we should remember this and vow not to repeat this "history". The fall of the Berlin Wall...that the human spirit will not be crushed and will always seek freedom. Another good lesson to remember is that the wall "fell" because of the use of diplomacy and the willingness of two leaders to talk to each other and to concede that the reuniting of Germany was the best decision for all concerned.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 13, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Building walls to challenge folks to tear them down?...Mmm, I guess that's always a plan for urban renewal, the hard way!

Thing is, my history's not as good as it used to be, and I wish I hadn't forgot what dim bulb came up with the idea to build the Berlin wall, but it could only have been a fat politician seeking to hold onto power in the midst of ideological doubt...lest the proof of inadequacy leak out from behind barbwire and concrete...that put that Orwellian pencil- pusher's idea into actuality.

Any old cold-warrior's got a clue?

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 14, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

After the advent of modern warfare, a wall is only a symbolic gesture which limits only the poor in reality. Even in its heyday, if you had the money, you could transcend the wall: It was a political statement to maintain the Good vs. Evil ideology which the world still seems to rely on for sense of purpose on a grand scale.

There is an old English Short story in which the world becomes run by computers, from legislative to judicial. It determined everything with absoluteness by finite principle and application of all technology as well as information which it gained with its own appendages. The people were happy and well tended. A problem developed in that religion was no longer needed and the people left their perspective belief patterns. A meeting of all Religious leaders came to pass and secretely met in a cave. They were surprised when in hopped a Toad, who personified became Satin-the devil. They gasped and asked why he came: He also had few souls to collect and made a startling comment: Without me, you have no place in this world do you?... it ends with the computer, who had all relevant information about humankind, enteringãHaving found religion of no relevance in its formattingãit asked for all information about each ideology. After processing this information, all went back to the way it was as the realization was: the reason for mankind's existence was dependent on choice, which it had eliminatedã.

We will always have evil I'm afraid, how we deal with its consequences and on what scale is another story and choice.

Zharkov
|
United States
November 15, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

There is nothing to be learned except that walls work and if they didn't, our homes wouldn't have them.

Each nation is a house for its people, and the job of our government is to protect our people from attack and invasion.

We get along with each other because we have walls to separate us when we want to be with our own families, our own people, our own culture. Walls allow us to be ourselves and keep our lives and possessions safe.

This is why Israel has walled off Palestine, why China walled itself, and why most Americans want a wall across the Southern border.

Walls are wonderful devices to protect a nation's culture, borders, and prosperity. We use tariff walls to protect our factories and jobs; we use term limit walls to protect our people from oppression.

Our constitution erects walls to protect us from petty tyrants, would-be dictators, and criminals who would imprison us for our decision not to buy their so-called "health insurance" - they need strong walls to isolate them and keep them away from a free society.

Without walls and boundaries, we would no longer be a nation and we would no longer need a national government.

Ron
|
New York, USA
November 15, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Last Lesson?

Basking in the glory of the end of the Cold-War and the Falling of the Berlin Wall can reinforce a grand illusion (Delusion) that we are in an era of Democracy. In reality, we are now in a New Millenium where the "Walls" are Metaphysical; no less political; more difficult to penetrate and subordinated to overarching economic interests.

Douglas C.
|
California, USA
November 16, 2009

Douglas C. in California writes:

What we know from the fall of the Berlin Wall is that socialism is a route to failure; the Wall fell as part of the disintegration of a Government which purported to take care of the well being of every citizen, but in actuality took care of only a select few. That wall would not have fallen had we decided that our presence in Europe was too expensive, or too divisive, or too long; had we packed up and gone home, the Soviet Union would still be there today, threatening us with annihilation, and Eastern Europe would still be under their jackboot.

We stayed the course and freed the people of Europe.

That is the lesson to be learned, and the one to be applied to both Afghanistan and to Iraq, and at home as we consider a healthcare plan of which neither the Congress nor the President will be a part.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 16, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Lessons learned? Statisticly, history hasn't been very kind to totaltarianism or those that try to opress the people's desire to go places, do their "be", and explore their general persuit of happiness via the freedom to express in concrete ways, what kind of society they wish to live in.

It's not we that need a lesson in history here, but the governments around the world that actvely engage in repressing by force, their people's aspirations, that do.

What they may take from the trend lines is this:

The more a government seeks to control, the less they have over the people. Thus revolt becomes a self-fulfilling phrophesy, born of a failure of understanding that the people are not "the enemy" of the state.

They are to be nurtured and cherished by a government, for the people are the state's primary resource, and the best indicators of the general health and stablity of a nation.

It is said that "fences make for good neighbors." Where dogs and livestock are concerned this can be taken as a given.

People are a different animal, are arn't likely to remain caged or penned in for long, on any level.

They require "free range" to be the best they can be, and will find it, or create it despite the best efforts of repressive governments.

Often at the expense of those repressive governments remaining in power, and there's the real lesson tyrants should take to heart.

John
|
Greece
November 16, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A. -- QUOTE: We get along with each other because we have walls to separate us when we want to be with our own families END OF QUOTE

You are always off subject!

I'll be simple. Do not connect "walls", as a security factor in private life, with "walls" as a suppressing mechanism to enforce a dictator's or fascist's policy. This second one is exactly what ex-East Germans and Soviets did when they build this wall.

Securing your borders from trespassing (Mexicans etc.), or terrorism, is an extremely different thing.

You, as a legal citizen, have the key to every "in" or "out" of a SECURITY WALL. People back then had no "key" to their "dictators prison". They could not be with their families etc., unless the "party" stamped them a "special visa". Through your posts I know that you live in Southern Calif. and you "love" visiting Mexico. Do you have any problems getting in or out?

No!

You see, different "walls"!

(Also read Eric's in NM post)

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