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RedhillPhil
7th Nov 2014, 21:33
Bit like JFK being shot. What were you doing twenty five years ago when Hasselhof was single handedly dismantling the wall?

Dushan
7th Nov 2014, 21:36
Let's not forget how it started.

YtYdjbpBk6A

TWT
7th Nov 2014, 21:43
I was on my way to Berlin,arrived there 4 days after it 'came down'.Still have my piece of concrete from it.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Nov 2014, 21:51
3:30 night, doing Phase 3 visidents and AAR.

For the uninitiated, phase three was closing to identify a target with no lights on - a darker bit of dark, and the F3 radar wasn't much use inside 200 yards at the time. And no NVGs. And you couldn't cheat, 'cos the Squadron Boss would phone up any old outfit to act as target. I think it was a Canberra that night for the first few, then the Victor tanker on their way home.

I recall thinking - There's going to be a Soviet Coup d'Etat - they won't just stop the Cold War like this. Thankfully, there wasn't.

I have my bit of concrete too. Job done.

fitliker
7th Nov 2014, 23:38
Are the Germans still paying the tax to the Russians for the return of East Germany ?.Seven trillion Deutschmarks was the number I heard.
Off course some self aggrandizing politicians tried to take the credit for one of the largest real estate deals of the eighties .
Money talks and Bullsiht walks.
The Germans funded the reforms of Perestroika and made Moscow a city of millionaires.
Now the Germans will make Britain pay through the nose for being in the EU,I wonder how much of that money will end up in Moscow or hiden in the Banks that hold twenty seven trillion dollars in Tax free havens :)

deltahotel
8th Nov 2014, 01:07
Well here's a thing 25 years on. I was at Lyneham, on Taceval (pretend war) togged up in a charcoal suit, carrying all sorts of gubbins (tin hat, respirator etc) watching it live on telly with an amazing sense of disbelief (I'd lived in Berlin 66-68). Everyone looked around with a sort of 'so what's at all about then, Alfie?' look.

OFSO
8th Nov 2014, 06:32
Are the Germans still paying the tax to the Russians for the return of East Germany ?


Twenty five years later there is still a "Solidaritätsteur" - a solidarity tax - shown on the German income tax statement, and this money is to pay for the cost of reunification. It adds quite a bit to the income tax bill for the average German.

SpringHeeledJack
8th Nov 2014, 07:30
I was on a tropical island with golden beaches of soft sand surrounded by a few ugly blokes and a bevy of stunningly beautiful women, so that polar opposite location and the fact that TV was thin on the ground meant that the grimy and gritty platform of freedom in Berlin passed me by for a few weeks.

I did spend a few weeks working in and around Berlin in the summer of 1991 and the place was still stuck in it's DDR persona, the suburbs were still in their American/British/French/Russian guises which made for a very strange experience. One morning the team I was with had to commence at 4am in the dark and slowly as the day began it's rhythm Russian voices could be heard, Russian cars, Russian busses taking school kids to school, grandparents going to the shops, all signage in Russian, everyone smoking those infernally strong cigarettes . It was as though we were in the pre-Perestoika USSR. Several hours later back in the hotel in the old Western sector, it was as if it had been a dream. I wish I'd bought some real estate back then, as the prices have certainly risen :ugh:

The Solidarity tax was 16% at one point I seem to remember, my German friends, once over the happiness of the wiedervereinigung started to resent the massive amounts being flushed into the ex-DDR which gave many of the cities better infrastructure than in the ex-GDR. The East Germans who moved into the West were noted by many to do just the bare minimum in work situations which caused frustration to the industrious Germans. 50 odd years of communism had trained the people to be a certain way and some might argue that it still sits inside many who hanker for the old days and the old ways.



SHJ

Tankertrashnav
8th Nov 2014, 09:05
I cant remember what I was doing when the wall came down.

But when the news of the Kennedy shooting came through I was playing cards with a lad called Kennedy.

Callous little bleeders as we were, we watched for a couple of minutes then went back to our game.

angels
8th Nov 2014, 09:34
Watching on the telly, absolutely fascinated. I loved Cold War Berlin.

Stayed there during the Cold War as both a tourist and a Major in the Army. That was the rank I got when I stayed as a civvie with my sister and her hubbie in Montgomery Barracks which old brown jobs will recall was virtually surrounded by The Wall. The curiosity of the Berlin agreements meant I was in the army while staying on army premises.

Of course, as I saw the thing coming down, I booked a flight straight over there and made sure I got my pieces of wall. I recall that as a kind local hammered bits of wall off for me an old Ostie stood there, shaking her head and saying (in English), "You're all mad."

On the forex front, we were astounded at the one for one mark swap and our economist got a huge bollocking for sending a client note out saying this was like throwing money down the Villeroy and Boch.....of course, he was right. RIP matey.

TWT
8th Nov 2014, 09:53
Yep,1 east mark for 1 west mark.

I crossed into the east with 25 east marks and couldn't spend it.Bought some chocolate at a railway station and queued in the freezing rain outside a restaurant for 15 minutes,but the line didn't move,so I left.No shops anywhere that I could see ( I only spent 3 hrs in the east).

Capetonian
8th Nov 2014, 09:54
I was on a beach in Natal when the news came through, by a strange coincidence with friends who'd been born in the German 'Democratic' Republic and had left with their parents in the 1960s for a better life elsewhere and had ended up in South Africa where, unlike under communism, they'd been able to start a very successful business and become wealthy.

A lot of bubbly was drunk that day!

SMT Member
8th Nov 2014, 10:10
Are the Germans still paying the tax to the Russians for the return of East Germany ?.Seven trillion Deutschmarks was the number I heard.

As has been pointed out upthread, the (former) West Germans are paying a 'solidarity tax', and have been doing so since 1990. This tax has been spent of resuscitating the (former) East German infrastructure, which was - for want of a better word - bombed out by the time the wall came down.

How anybody can make a link between that and paying off Russia is anyone's guess. Mine is xenophobia and willful ignorance.

Krystal n chips
8th Nov 2014, 11:06
" Let's not forget how it started.

How could we forget that it was entirely due to a B rated actor.

There were clearly no other participants, factors or influences involved.

Did he win an Oscar for that performance at all ?

SpringHeeledJack
8th Nov 2014, 13:26
I watched a documentary by The Hoff last week about his participation helped the process that was already underway. He commented about the various bullsh1t stories in the press about him and supposed boasts of causing the change. His song became a melodic icon to the younger DDR citizens and their hopes of a better life. Also interesting was the various people that managed to escape through ingenious means and them describing how they did it and how life had changed.


SHJ

Dushan
8th Nov 2014, 14:01
" Let's not forget how it started.

How could we forget that it was entirely due to a B rated actor.

There were clearly no other participants, factors or influences involved.

Did he win an Oscar for that performance at all ?

Don't be silly. Of course there were others. There was Gorby who got on with it as he was told, to tear it down.

fitliker
8th Nov 2014, 14:31
Thatcher was against the reunification.Time will tell whether she was right again :)

Fangio
8th Nov 2014, 14:45
I was there the night that the wall came down. I was flying for Dan Air at the time. We were operating the German internal routes with German cabin crew. LH were not allowed to operate into Berlin and only British, French and American airlines (TWA and Pan Am) were carrying German passengers and the Turkish "Guest workers"
I have a photo of me standing with the jubilant crowds in front of the wall with the East German guards standing on the wall above our heads not knowing what was going on, the wall had been breached and East Berliners were pouring in, mobile bars appeared and were giving away free beer, Trabants were roaming the Berlin streets pouring out blue smoke from their two stroke engines.
The days that followed had to be experienced to appreciate the emotion of both East and West Berliners, something that I will always remember

I still have a T shirt in pristine condition that says "ICH WAR DABE"
9 November 1989 and some pieces of the wall

I cannot believe that it was 25 years ago, it seems like yesterday

mikedreamer787
9th Nov 2014, 16:01
I believe I was asleep in bed. Couldn't give a shit.

vulcanised
9th Nov 2014, 16:33
Going for the Dumbest Post of the Year Award then, Mike?

pigboat
9th Nov 2014, 18:26
SteynOnline: The Will To Fell. (http://www.steynonline.com/6654/the-will-to-fell)

Matari
9th Nov 2014, 19:30
One only has to read these threads to see how right Steyn is.

All this yammering about Vietnam and Grenada misses the big point: The cold war was anything but cold. It was red-hot at the point of the spear, in many corners of the world, and liable to go white-hot at any moment. Those brutal, proxy third-world wars mostly slowed, rarely blocked, but eventually wore down the Soviet machine. The US led, and the US (with her most faithful allies) won.

The cold war was won in spite of the left, who would have loved to have seen Eastern Europe (and most of the world except their comfy little hamlets) remain part of the Soviet empire.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
9th Nov 2014, 19:44
My German Master at school escaped from East Berlin by hanging on by his fingertips to the outside of a subway train whilst they were building the wall above him. The Stasi searched the train for an hour at the final station on the East Side. I learned about 'hanging on' from that.

barry lloyd
9th Nov 2014, 20:51
I watched it all on TV in the UK, but I'd spent a lot of time on the other side of the wall, even visited Colditz, Buchenwald and Weimar. The experience of passing from west to east was always surreal. With a walk of 30 yards, you would go from freedom, gaiety, and well-lit streets into another world which was like walking onto a WWII film set.

As TWT pointed out, a pocket full of Ostmarks, nothing to spend them on, and serious questions if you hadn't spent many of them when you were leaving. All the way out to Schoenefeld to catch the Interflug IL-18 for the run down to Sofia with a with sour-faced cabin crew and some salami and bread, but lots of vodka - oh joy!

I've been back several times since and in most places I can still remember where the wall used to be.

ShyTorque
9th Nov 2014, 22:49
I was right here in this house. The week before I'd been in Berlin on a formal visit. I'd visited some years before and on the more recent trip had noticed things didn't seem the same, less intense.

I'd no idea what our visit was about to precipitate!

(The journeys via the military train were unforgettable).

tdracer
9th Nov 2014, 23:27
Amazing, Rare Photographs of the Berlin Wall Coming Down | History | Smithsonian (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/amazing-rare-photographs-berlin-wall-coming-down-180953278/?utm_source=smithsoniantopic&no-ist)



I found a group of young West German men slamming the Wall with a hammer. They had been at it for hours.

Suddenly, water cannons blasted through the crack the young men had made in the Wall. East German border guards were trying to push us away with the hard freezing blasts of water. Wet and cold, I took lots of pictures and had no idea at the time that one frame would become so famous.

SpringHeeledJack
10th Nov 2014, 06:14
I had two guests from Germany over the weekend, neither seemed particularly bothered nor interested in the anniversary of the reunification. It seems that after so many years of the solidarity tax draining their income and little real benefit to the average person from the ex-GDR (although some have made Billions), the reaction was "Was habe Ich davon ?"….Those from the ex-DDR have a different slant for sure. A bloke I used to know lived 130miles away from Berlin in the DDR heard rumours on the morning and he recounted how all the young men of his town made their way on the train (for free as the staff were also in a state of happy delirium) to Berlin to be 'there' to partake, not just in history, but in the first loosening of the daily malignant oppression they had experience in their lifetimes and for that matter their parents lifetimes.


SHJ

hector
10th Nov 2014, 21:15
Flew into TXL from HAJ on the morning of the 10th and had a good view from left base 26 of the crowds around the Brandenburg Gate. The wall was a bit wider there and there were a lot of people standing on top celebrating.

Later that morning I walked from the Interconti to the KaDeWe and a 15 minute walk took over an hour because of the crowds. The Eastenders were queueing round the block of every bank for their DM100 gruss geld. (Sorry, could'nt work out how to put an umlaut over the "u")

rgbrock1
11th Nov 2014, 15:52
I, and my German Frauelein at the time, were on our way to Moscow with an overnight in West Berlin that night. We both witnessed it all. Something I'll never forget. Especially the sight of the Volkspolizei standing around and doing nothing about the wall come tumblin' down.

The Nip
11th Nov 2014, 20:06
I was living in qtrs at Rhein'd.

A few weeks earlier I had done the official Border trip in Berlin. BASC, Military train, towns and railways cut in half by the wall etc. Fascinating all the types of guard fences and other objects to keep the East Germans in.

mikedreamer787
12th Nov 2014, 07:22
Going for the Dumbest Post of the Year Award then, Mike?

Nope not at all. Just that a wall (built as a consequence of Hitler deciding to invade Russia too early) being decontructed in some European city didn't merit any attention from me. The Kremlin knew their system was on the way out 2 years prior and it was only a matter of time till someone got the ball rolling. I'm not the one for cascades of emotion when one economic and political system fails internally like a rotting orange. Besides West Germany had to foot the bill which, later on caused the novelty to wear off among the locals and all quite predictable really.

Truly momentous events that changed the global future forever are worth looking at - eg the embryonic Russian bolshies 1913 formulating PC for stifling dissent (and that aspect of communism has certainly had an impact), Hiroshima getting thwacked Aug 6 1945, 20 July 1969 when a human being first stepped onto another world, 911, I could go on. But a 29 year old brick wall in Europe? Nah. If I was an East Berliner maybe I suppose.

And yes I did the checkpoint Charlie tour years before. East Berlin 1982 looked terrible - and I learnt first hand a bit more of communism in action - but that was Europe's problem not mine.

Pinky the pilot
12th Nov 2014, 08:56
I was living in a caravan on the airfield of Waikerie, South Australia at the time and watched a 'live'(?) TV broadcast of the proceedings of the actual breaching of the wall.

Found it extremely moving as I was at the time a member of a sporting club in the Barossa Valley district of South Australia (The Tanunda Kegel Club) that had as a member a person who had escaped from the East, albeit long before the wall went up, and had settled in Tanunda.

Further to that; Well after the wall and communism had fallen this friend returned to the former East and actually managed to locate his "Stasi' file.

He took it out into the street outside, sat in the gutter and burned each page after reading it! He once told me a few things about what was listed in those files, such as names of his acquaintances in Australia.:eek:

That, I still find it hard to believe, but.....:confused: He never struck me as a BS artist so I had to take it as his word.:hmm:

Low Flier
13th Nov 2014, 17:04
Mister Obama, tear down this wall!

http://s29.postimg.org/giy09qlsn/die_Mauer.jpg

Lonewolf_50
13th Nov 2014, 17:26
His government didn't build it, Low.

Might want to make that appeal to Mr Bibi, eh? His government did.

G-CPTN
13th Nov 2014, 17:56
In addition to the Berlin 'wall', there was a substantial barrier along the border between East and West Germany.

When we visited in 1990, there was still evidence of the barrier with guard towers and 'no-man's land' strips where wildlife was prolific.

At one location we found trip wires (on the East side) and, even, a grave (apparently of a would-be emigrant). There was a road between the border and the nearby (Eastern) village a few kilometres away that was fully lit with streetlamps such as would be found in a city - yet the settlement was but a small collection of agricultural dwellings.

The whole environment was 'moving'.

We sought accommodation in Weimar but failed completely - despite being a city there was no hotel or bed and breakfast establishments.

Later, we entered a previously closed (even to East Germans) area at Bad Berka where we found accommodation at the STASI sanitorium (still with its quasi-military staff) and saw the ruins of the Russian R&R dachas surrounded by the abandoned Soviet guardhouse complete with the red star on the gate.

rh200
13th Nov 2014, 19:48
I suppose there's a good analogy between both walls, both had people trying to breach it. Though some vital differences. One, people where enslaved and trying to get to a better life, the other, people are trying break in and destroy a better life.

Waiting for the incoming.:p

rgbrock1
13th Nov 2014, 19:51
G-CPTN:

What you described was the inner-German border. Of which I became quite familiar in various spots. You'd probably be surprised, maybe not, of how many Russkies manned the various guard towers.

G-CPTN
13th Nov 2014, 19:55
We went to Germany in 1990 at the suggestion of my 12-year-old son.

It was certainly an enlightening experience.

http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/395185-tear-down-wall.html#post5306362

http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/487029-why-would-german-ladies-stare-my-daughter-3.html#post7230827

con-pilot
13th Nov 2014, 19:56
I suppose there's a good analogy between both walls, both had people trying to breach it. Though some vital differences. One, people where enslaved and trying to get to a better life, the other, people are trying break in and destroy a better life.

Waiting for the incoming.

No kidding, not long ago one rabid, professional US basher here compared the wall on the US/Mexican border to the Berlin Wall.

barry lloyd
13th Nov 2014, 21:07
G-CPTN:

What you described was the inner-German border. Of which I became quite familiar in various spots. You'd probably be surprised, maybe not, of how many Russkies manned the various guard towers.

On my frequent train journeys out of East Berlin to destinations within East Germany, I heard far more Russian than German spoken. Some were in uniform, some not.

mikedreamer787
13th Nov 2014, 23:56
I was living in a caravan on the airfield of Waikerie, South Australia

So Pinks you remember Bruce H and young Glenn? :)

Pinky the pilot
14th Nov 2014, 00:00
So Pinks you remember Bruce H and young Glenn?

Negative.:confused:

Pm me with further info if you wish.