As a child, the Berlin Wall represented death to me because media stories told of those who tried to escape from East Germany to West only to be gunned down by East German guards who killed anyone trying to escape the depressed world of communism.
Today marks 25 years since the hated wall of death that divided families, friends, and a country … a wall that literally divided the city of Berlin … a wall that was built to make prisoners of the citizens of East Germany. One side was prosperous. The other was destitute.
Throughout the years of imprisonment, people tried to outrun machine gunfire, crawl through the barbed wire barrier, and any other way imaginable to those who craved liberty. The escape story that I remember most vividly was of two families who stitched together a hot air balloon from scraps of cloth and bed sheets, and cobbled together propane cylinders to make an engine, and successfully floated up and over the wall in 1979 to freedom.
Many who escaped were extremely resourceful (see 8 creative ways people went over the Berlin Wall). Countless others died. It’s a sad chapter in human history.