Response to Afrika Road- May 17, 2016

There are many walls and fences throughout the city, but none was quite like me. I remember when they first built me, back in 1961. My father, Khruschev, recommended that I was built to┬ákeep the Western fascists out of East Germany. I remember while I was first being built many sullen, a few in tears, East Germans. My father said that it was in the city’s, and the worlds best interests to keep Berlin divided in two. I grew up fast in my childhood, from a little barbed wire fence to the mighty 15 foot concrete giant that I have grown up to be. I have seen much more than any wall in Germany has seen before. I look to my west side, and I see a normal city, going about it’s daily business, with occasional traffic going across my checkpoints, filled with people visiting the many memorials across the city of the event that made Berlin, and Germany, what it is now. Life went on. However I started to notice something quite peculiar. On my west side, people were continuing with their matters, but when I looked to the East, I started to notice some changes, for the worse. Traffic has stopped moving back and forth out of my decreasing amount of checkpoints, and an increasing amount of people were leaving the East and going into the Western controlled parts in Berlin. I also saw an unfortunate desire from most of the people on the east side, to leave their homes for the west. Diplomats from the U.S. were coming in more heavily guarded convoys, in order to reach their destinations on the other side. My father did not like that. He ordered to me to keep out all western authorities and people out, unless they had express permission to do so. I did what I was told. One night, I was panicked as I awoke to a deep rumbling sound coming from the west. I squinted and saw several American m48’s rolling toward one of my crossings, Checkpoint Charlie. They revved up their engines and hurled black smoke into the air, as they approached me. Not too long afterwards, my father ordered some of his own war machines, T55’s, to meet this new enemy at the gates. For hours they stood, watching each other. Waiting for the slightest movement from the other, to have a reason to fire their guns. This is the end, I thought. Soon these two superpowers are going fire upon each other and start another war similar to the same one that razed Germany not too long ago. More hours passed, and the night chill got to me, my bricks turning pale in the moonlight that was gazing on this event with anxiety, just like I was. Much to my relief however, our T55’s pulled back, in order to prevent what could have been one worst events in history. Soon all of these giants pulled back. I have let many bad things happen since then. I watched as many of the Easterner’s were shot and captured in their attempted escape from the East. The same East that promised justice and equality for everyone. Everyone in the East was equal, that part was right. However it is different if everyone was living in the same poverty, suffering and discrimination. You could call that being treated equal, or you could call that mutual suffering. I started to question the true reason why I was built in the first place. My father, Khruschev, may have told me it was to protect the citizens from the overwhelming influence of capitalism, but I knew it was actually to keep the people in, to prevent them from escaping. I felt ashamed from myself, and on November 9th, 1989, I knew what was coming. The guards left their posts, people came from both sides, dismantling me. They knocked down large sections, and reunited themselves with their fellow neighbours. Being separated for almost 30 years, they were happy to finally be free of my terror. I suppose my destruction was for the best, all I brought these people in the east was suffering and inequality. Only small, unused sections of me exist today, and I knew my destruction was necessary for the good of the people.

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