As I listened to the news, an image formed in my mind: I was standing in a large, dark hall. At the back of the hall, a door opened and light poured in. Suddenly, I had the option to go through that door and leave the hall. It felt great to have this choice, but I didn’t feel the urge to walk through the door immediately. I thought: the door will stay open, and I will be able to go through it whenever I wish.
In fact, it was a whole two weeks later that I crossed the Wall for the first time. I took the bus from Berlin’s Schönefeld station out to Rudow, to visit an aunt who lived in West Berlin. It was evening time and the streets on both sides of the Wall were dark and gray. I didn’t notice the moment the bus crossed over to the other side, but I did realize that the street lamps suddenly looked different.
The period following the fall of the Wall was very moving. But two years later, as I drove my car along the motorway near Cologne, I still had this feeling of disbelief. I thought about what I would have said or thought if someone had told me two years earlier that, in 1991, I would be driving my own car along a motorway near Cologne. I probably would have said they were crazy!
© picture alliance / Geisler-Fotopress / Christoph Hardt