The Banality of the Trump Administration: Reflecting on the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 Years Later

 

 

 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Thirty years ago the Berlin Wall came down. It was something that I never saw coming until the popular uprisings against the Warsaw Pact allies of the Soviet Union began in the fall of 1989. Just three years before we had made the trip via the Helmstedt corridor Autobahn to Berlin in November 1986. We made two trips into East Berlin while there, traveling through Checkpoint Charlie.

On January 19th 1989, East Germany’s leader, Erich Honecker proclaimed:

“The Wall will be standing in 50 and even in 100 years” 

He could not have been more wrong, just like most of us who served on the west side of the inter-German border during the Cold War. But despite the fall of the Wall, there are still many things that divide the old East from the West. Berlin itself is much more like the West, cosmopolitan, liberal, and open. Drive through other parts of the former East and it is still like a different country. Walls in people’s minds are often harder to breach than physical walls.

i was reminded of that when I saw a video of Trump’s Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Monica Crowley standing next to a preserved portion of the Wall last week saying that “Walls are good.” She obviously didn’t care about the enslaved populations that the Berlin Wall was supposed to keep in the county or the hundreds if not thousands who did trying to escape, killed by the East German Volkspolizei or the STASI after being tortured. For an American official to be standing at such a site praising its merits is incomprehensible to me and show the depth of the Trump Administration’s moral depravity. But then, the President would have probably loved Honecker, like he does Putin, Kim Jun Un and Rodrigo Duterte.


Last year we got to go back to Berlin and most of our time was spent in the former East. It was a far different experience. I think that Berlin is now one of my favorite cities in the world. The change is remarkable. It’s such a different world, and I look forward to going back again.

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under germany, Loose thoughts and musings, Political Commentary, Travel

One response to “The Banality of the Trump Administration: Reflecting on the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 Years Later

  1. David Head

    Hi Steve,
    Isn’t it ironic that for the last few years I’ve spent much of it in Eastern Europe. Especially Romania and the Maramures region. The life is so traditional, beautiful mountains, beautiful people unspoilt by modern western culture, where nature and the church have a dominant affect on life, where the young still respect the ageing.
    People hand ploughing, and foraging for food, making cheeses and jams and butter etc etc etc.
    This brave new western world is consuming itself and I want no part of it.
    I used to live in China and South America and the young yearn to leave what I see as paradise, for the cesspool of western cities. I’ll never understand.
    God Bless,
    Dave

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