NOVEMBER 9th, 1989
Moments in history that have an obvious impact are more commonplace since the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty-five years ago. With the ease of communication there is a global awareness of how we watch history unfold.
In 1989 the fall of the Berlin Wall marked an international moment like no other. The face of the world we grew up with; at least for my generation, was about to radically change for the very first time.
My grandparent and parents generation had already witnessed many changes, with their vivid memories of WWII and how that made the world map as they knew it change.
I had moved back to the USA from Sweden three years earlier and my perspective of it all was still strongly influenced by my seven years abroad. My American friends cheered and said; "We won, we defeated communism." I stated my opinion; "No, communism imploded because it went bankrupt, it was not defeated." As you can imagine it led to opinion and arguments, that I am sure can be disputed to date.
The one thing we all agreed upon, was that it was a monumental and important change. I remember that people were surprised when Katarina Witt expressed a very natural confusion at suddenly being told that everything she was raised to believe was "wrong". I could not find the clip that I remember vividly, that put a face to such a different perspective and impacted me at the age of thirty in 1989, but I found this.THE DIPLOMAT
For us as athletes, it was terrible at that time. You had competed for your country,
the country had been very proud of you, people had been very proud of you ...
and within months, everything turned against you and you felt like,
'I haven't done anything different.' You just felt personally hurt.
Katarina Witt, from 'The Diplomat,' talking about competing for East Germany around the fall of the Berlin Wall
Today some of the Eastern Block countries have found a way to adapt and succeed while others are struggling.