Where Death Once Lay


A reader writes:

Here are two views from the same place - the windows of a semi-ruined East German watchtower on the former border between West and East Germany. The first view [above] is looking north, the second view [after the jump] is looking south. Both show the former "death strip", which has now been reclaimed by nature. Twenty years ago today, the people seeing this view would have been armed and with orders to shoot on sight. The pictures were taken at 12:53 and 12:54 pm near Morsleben, Germany. This would be a nice choice for today, the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall and the opening of the inner German border.

Please also note that Inner German Border will be Wikipedia's featured article of the day on November 9th, tying in with the 20th anniversary of the revolution in East Germany. You might find it an interesting read. (Disclaimer: I wrote the article).

There's something deeply comforting about seeing nature reclaim an arbitrary human divide created by ideology. It reveals the transience of even the most horrifying isms in the context of the planet we live in, and the hubris of humans who think their own vision has now supplanted everything that came before. For me, the end of the Wall meant the beginning of a chance to live without ideological war or the fear of ideological war, a moment for the peace dividend to take hold and the idea of US global hegemony given a break in a more stable, less fraught and much less ideological world. How wrong I was.

But the second view lifts one's spirits. It shows a path ahead, and fields and trees beyond: