Friday, November 7, 2014 at 6:48 AM

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

berlin14-1This weekend, Germany will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But every country in the West should be doing so too.

After all, it led not only to the reunification of Germany, but also to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the (first) Cold War.

Frankly, the tumbling of the Berlin wall (on November 9, 1989) was as glorious and transformative as the bombing of the Twin Towers (on September 11, 2001) was murderous … and transformative. But, just as commemorating that fateful event on 9/11 requires little comment, celebrating that delightful event on 11/9 requires little comment too.

Therefore I shall suffice to celebrate this anniversary by highlighting two German words.

foiTAkBSPrH7QAbQKZLqVNyMAccording to the website of German Missions in the United States:

After the fall of the wall, the word Wendehals was used to describe East Germans whose political convictions did a 180-degree turn during reunification.

Clearly, this word could also be used to describe people still living under totalitarian regimes in countries like China, Russia, Zimbabwe, and Cuba … if the walls of their oppression were suddenly torn down.

Except that, unlike East Germans, I don’t think any of them would need Begrüßungsgeld (“welcome money”) to pull a 180-degree turn on their respective state-imposed ideology.

All the same, here’s to that historic day in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.

Ich bin ein Berliner!

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