World Sign
Vol. 106: Residue of History
Residue of History
On November 9 in 1989, the Berlin Wall was suddenly, without warning, broken down by the excited populace of the city. This public outcry was a huge step forward for the reunion of East and West Germany. In the same way that the Wall was the symbol of the division and Cold War between the East and West, its collapse became a powerful symbol, which made us realize that the fall of the socialist society was imminent in a way that had never been felt before. TV clips showed young people hammering away on the Wall with the Brandenburg Gate in the background. People all over the world who saw these images, clearly witnessed history in the making.

Today, just over 20 years later, the historical event is slowly fading from our memories. Both citizens and tourists in Berlin come and go, walking under the Brandenburg Gate as if nothing happened, and the world seems peaceful.

However, there is one thing that still brings back the memory of that historical event. A number of rows of stone blocks dug into the ground in parallel with the Brandenburg Gate, which leads straight to the white pedestrian line, tells us the existence of the Wall that used to stand in those places. When cars run over them, the stone rows will tell the drivers about the former presence of the Wall with a slight clicking vibration, if he/she pays attention.

Such little pieces of evidence pass the historical events on to the future.

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