Postcard of Hanau am Main – Marktplatz, Dated Friday Aug. 25, postmarked Aug 26 1961 by the US Army Air Force Postal service. Addressed to Gregg Spence in Dayton Ohio.
“Here at Hanau, just outside Frankfurt, we found Capt. Don and family greeting us at the airport. After touring in Holland, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, we are glad to be with our own people. The tense feeling over Berlin has decreased somewhat. Next we go to Bremen and British Isles. When we return, I want to see if the porch roof has leaks, see back steps and find leak on big roof – [illegible]"
Just one sentence but what a piece of history. I direct you to http://www.dailysoft.com/berlinwall/ and the Wikipedia entry on the Berlin Wall for background history.
The first iteration of the wall was constructed during the night of August 12-13, 1961. All border crossings to East Germany were closed. Barbed wire and rolled barbed wire (concertina wire) were strung up. See image below.
Streets were torn up, and the rail lines and subway lines connecting East and West were broken. Soon, the building of a solid wall began. As of August 23, citizens of West Berlin were no longer allowed to enter East Berlin. On September 20, forced evacuation of houses immediately at the border started. (People were jumping from the windows, you see, and running to West Berlin).
The West did not really respond except with words, and the building of the wall continued. Who knew what importance the Berlin Wall would have over time? At the moment, maybe a leaky roof in Dayton Ohio was more important to the writer. What aspects of history are happening today that we are overlooking?
November 9, 2009 will be the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.