Mauerdurchbruch 9.11.

When thoughts do not match reality

Professor Dominik N. Müller, Co-Head of the Research Group on Hypertension-Mediated End-Organ Damage

I came to the Free University of Berlin to study pharmacology in 1987 and was lucky enough to experience unparalleled history in Berlin.

During my first two years, I developed into a typical West Berlin student. I tried to discover the city and its culture, but to be honest, I only encountered the Wall when friends came to visit. As someone from a small town, West Berlin itself was so vast that I never felt confined. Apart from bizarre car trips through the transit zone to Berlin, life in the divided city was actually pretty normal.

Although I heard every word, the content and the possible implications didn’t reach my brain.
Prof. Dr. Dominik Müller
Dominik N. Müller Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe „Hypertonie-vermittelter Endorganschaden“

But then came the year 1989, in which I felt continual changes taking place. I was interested in politics and that late summer, I followed everything that suddenly seemed possible under Gorbachev. The Monday demonstrations, GDR citizens in the Hungarian embassy – suddenly everything was different. And then it was the early evening of November 9. I heard the words of Günter Schabowski on TV, along with those of a journalist asking when the regulation would come into effect, with Schabowski clumsily rustling through his papers, searching for an answer... Although I heard every word, the content and the possible implications didn’t reach my brain. The status quo of the divided city was so firmly anchored in my consciousness that I didn’t stop to think about the news and went off to play tennis. When I came back hours later and turned on the TV again, I saw excited SFB journalists reporting from the border crossings, which hadn’t been opened yet. Suddenly the images of GDR citizens streaming into the West finally reached my brain cells. Today I still have to smile at my reaction and realize that although I heard Schabowski’s words, I didn’t really understand the possible consequences.


© ullstein bild / Hensel