April 9, 2009 Subject:
caduta del muro di berlino
December 7, 2007 Subject:
I appreciate this film for focusing on the human grief caused by the wall rather than the immediate political circumstances. Although I suppose without those political circumstances some viewers may be mystified as to why the wall was even there.
December 6, 2007 Subject:
There was an economic downturn in the early sixties and I lost my job. I was 23 years old. I decided to join the Army in 1961 because my father had been in the Army.
After induction and basic training, I was sent to the ALS (Army Language School) which is now the DLI (Defense Languages Institute in Monterey, California. I became a German translator and went directly to West Berlin. I arrived there in January of 1962 and engaged in doing work which was highly classified at the time.
Except for one short, weekend leave to Hamburg, I was in West Berlin until March of 1964.
This film, "The Wall" is accurate and disturbing. It brought back many memories, reinforcing some which I had all but forgotten. Peter Fechte's death was one that I could not forget.
The narrator comments that the West German government stated that the guards who shot people trying to escape would be held responsible. Long after I had returned to "normal" life here in the states, I chanced across a short newspaper article. It stated that charges were brought against Erich Schreiber and Rolf Friedrich, the guards who shot Fechte.
I was in West Berlin when Kennedy came and made his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. I was still there when he was assassinated in 1963. I will never forget the incredible, public outpouring of grief that occurred. There was a spontaneous candlelight walk in the streets that involved nearly all of the 2.2 million people who were in the city. It terminated in a gathering at the Airlift Memorial. The base of the memorial was buried in notes of bereavement and tokens like a pair of children's shoes or a photograph of Kennedy.
It was an incredible time.
December 5, 2007 Subject:
I have contacted the National Archives about this film and they cannot confirm that this film is in the public domain. I am wondering if someone can definitively verify whether or not it is.