Friday, April 16, 2010

Ost-und West-Deutschland

[ East and west Germany ]

A few months ago, as Inge and Andreas took me to a nearby village outside of the Göttingen area, I noted how we crossed into the former east Germany, and how the border was still visible as a faint line cut into the forest.

The other day, while picking out the perfect Easter branches for home, I saw the border first hand. Within the forest, there was a wide path, lined with parallel cement blocks for patrol cars to ride up and down the border.

No matter how many times I witness different examples of divided Germany, it is still amazing to me each time that many of these relics aren’t exactly old history, but being only 2 decades young, changes that are still living and taking place. When driving out of town on a rather quiet highway, amongst the sprawling farmland and rolling hills all around us, it would have been very easy to miss a land marker and sign that pronounced the old divide between the once separate halves of Germany.

[ This marks where Germany and Europe were separated up until 6 o'clock November 18th 1989 ]

The sign of the past divide blended right into the open rural scenery. One could have easily driven right by it in present day and not even notice. As the sign signifies however, the border of east and west Germany was not just one between on country, but between an entire continent, making one realize that Europe itself has changed and grown tremendously in two decades, and once again proving how German history is reflective on the history of Europe as a whole.

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