Most of our generation won’t really give a crap about this post, and if I told you the subject split families, ended careers, created poverty and suffering and ended lives for THIRTY YEARS you would be amazed that we don’t give a crap, but it still won’t change your mind!
The reason is The Berlin Wall is glossed over in schools (we have more important shit to teach nowadays I guess), it didn’t happen really in our lifetime (anything not in our life doesn’t exist to us) nor did it happen in our country – so why should we give a crap?
Well, sometimes in life it’s important to hear the pain of the past, it’s important to remember wrongs we as a ‘civilization’ (and I used that word loosely) have committed no matter how far away they may seem. It’s important so we learn from the past and we never make the same mistakes again!
Ill paint you a scenario in a context closer to home.
You wake up one morning in JHB, get into your car and switch on the news. You live in Sandton, as I do, and work in Pretoria (as thank the fictitious spiritual world I DON’T but play along) and you hear on the news that there has been a blockade put up just after Woodmead and you can’t cross it.
You panic as you try work out how you are going to scramble to move your meeting to ‘this side’ of the blockade. You manage to make a few calls until you realize there is NO CROSSING from either side. As the day ends and a fence is now being erected around what used to be Joburg you start to panic about your family in Pretoria, your sister living in Polokwane and your sick Grandfather who lives in Nelspruit and just as you convince yourself that it’s not real and what they are doing isn’t possible you start to see this . . .
Your worst fears come to life when the wall just grows and grows!
Before you know it landmarks that you used to drive past every day, barely paying attention as you zipped past on your way about the city freely are now behind thick concrete blocks of prison . . .
The only gap between you and your friends, family, job and freedom lies a barren waste land affectionately termed the ‘death strip’ (no prizes for anyone guessing why)
For almost 30 years this continued. At first no one believed it could happen (much like Julius Malema becoming pres-o-dent) then they felt how difficult it was to live with it and finally they fought their pain everyday as life moved on, on either side of the wall, they were now just separate lives!
The reason I’m writing this post is not to make you so sad on a Friday that you go out and drink yourself into a stupor (I’m going to do that regardless) but it’s because in this month in 1961 the wall went up and like I said before sometimes it’s important to remember mankind’s worst mistakes so we know never to make them again
For the pics go HERE!