Let’s look back to 21 years ago in East Germany. In January 1989, the president of East Germany, Erich Honecker, said, “The wall in Berlin will stay another hundred years!” At that time, Michael Gorbachev was the president of USSR (Russia), and he brought a completely new direction. He saw that the system of Communism was breaking down, and he wanted to change things. He wanted to work together
with the citizens.
This was an absolutely new concept for people from the East. Many things happened that year, to where people had the courage to stand up for what was right. They demonstrated, which had not been allowed unless it was approved by the government. A few times in the history of Communism illegal demonstrations were stopped by tanks from the Russian army, and people were killed right on the streets.
This put so much fear into people that they were quiet for the next few years. Would it happen this time too?
1989 was a year when people tried to break out of the system by fleeing over the borders into Hungary or Austria, or by finding refuge in West German embassies. In October, people started demonstrating in many East German cities again. The Secret Service arrested many people and mistreated them spiritually and physically. For the 40th anniversary from GDR, the president had a slogan: Vorwärts immer, rückwärts nimmer (“Always forward; never backward”). More and more people demonstrated. 10,000 here, 100,000 there. Often people were arrested by the Secret Service. Several times it looked like the beginning of a civil war, but there was always the encouragement to stay peaceful — no violence on the side of the people.
I also went to those demonstrations. When you left home you never knew if you would see your family again because of what might happen in the night. We gathered in churches because we thought the state wouldn’t dare to attack people in a church building. Churches were refuges, so there we met, and we were instructed about what we actually wanted: no violence, but peace.
I had never before experienced anything like this. There was a different spirit at work that united people and produced a peace and bonded people together. All those demonstrating were ready to be killed for what they wanted to bring about. We took banners and candles and started walking toward the government buildings. It was so peaceful. In front of the buildings we would call out, “We want
freedom of speech, better conditions in our living and working places, religious freedom… Let’s talk together.” Everything was peaceful, with no violence on either side. Already this was a miracle.
So we went to these demonstrations week by week and finally the government started to open up and speak to the people, and listen to what they had to say. Everyone was shouting and rejoicing. They had been silenced for so many years and finally were allowed to speak. It gave so much hope — hope to make our homeland a better country. It was all still very fragile. A new party was illegally formed. It was a threat to the government. We met at people’s apartments and had to change the apartments often because it was a crime in East Germany to belong to a party that was not approved by the state. Many people were arrested during this time. We met with people that we didn’t really know, so we didn’t know who of them were part of the Secret Service (Stasi) in East Germany. Still, more and more people became members of this new party, called Neues Forum (“The New Forum”).
November 9th began as a day like all the others. I was talking with a friend of mine that evening in my apartment in Berlin. My two-year-old son was asleep, and the TV was running in the background. At one point we noticed what was on the TV. What was this? A voice was calling, “Citizens from East Berlin, take your passports and come to the Bernauer street. The wall will be opened up.” We saw pictures of people in front of the Wall, and they were shouting and laughing, but we didn’t understand what it meant. We
switched to another channel, and the same thing was happening, “Citizens from East Berlin, take your passports and come to the Wall. The Wall will open up.”
What? We didn’t get it. We couldn’t think this way. It was a new concept, and I didn’t understand it. We kept talking, and from time to time we watched the TV again. After hearing these things for at least two hours, we hardly knew what to think. Shortly before midnight, my friend said, “Should we take our passports and go to the Wall?” I lived ten minutes away from the border, so I said, “Sure, let’s take a quick walk and have a look. My son is sleeping, and we will be back soon.” I had never left him alone in the apartment before. I always took him with me wherever I went, but this time I thought, “We’ll be right
back.” So we went to a small border called Invalidenstrasse. Everything was dark. “It was a joke,” my friend said.
Right after he told me this, an officer came out of the watchman’s booth and said, “If you wait five minutes we will open up.” Then he went back to his booth and left us alone. We just stood there, totally puzzled. Then more people showed up. They said, “We heard in the news that the Wall is open. What could it mean? We just came to see.” We said, “We don’t know anything, but the watchman said we should wait five minutes for them to open up.”
Soon the barrier went up, and the officer called us over to his booth. We showed him our passports, and he stamped them and said, “Go this way.” We were 10 or 20 people, and we walked together between the two walls. How many people had been killed just because they wanted to go from one side to the other? Thoughts about the concentration camps in World War II flooded my mind as I was walking. They had told the Jews, “You are free,” and then shot them from the back. Afterward they would say, “They wanted to flee.” Now there was no way back. It was like a suction in only one direction. It was the longest 50 meters I’d ever walked in my life. Finally, we could see the other side! People were standing on the Wall screaming, laughing, and crying.
We arrived in West Berlin! I was as if in a trance. It was so unreal. Maybe I just protected myself from getting too emotional. Old people fell to their knees and cried, thanking God that they could witness this in their lifetime. People hugged us, kissed us, laughed, and cried. Everyone wanted to give you something or do something for you. One young man asked us if it was the first time we were in West Berlin? We answered him, “Yes, for sure!” Then he said, “Come, I will show you the city.” So we took a city train and drove to the center of the city.
Everything that day was free — tickets, drinks, food… The whole city was awake. I’m sure there was not one person sleeping that night. The streets were full of East German cars, and everyone was honking their horns. It was so loud, but no one complained. There was only rejoicing. At one point I woke up from this seeming trance and saw on the clock — 1:30 AM! “Oh no, my son! I need to go back!” I got very restless and fear came to me. We started our way back against the stream of people who still wanted
to go from East to West Berlin. We finally made it home at 4:00 AM. It was so strange to pass the border — so quiet, so dark, with no watchmen in the booths. It was such a contrast.
My son was still asleep, and I was so thankful. When I got up at 6:00 AM to go to work, I was in the kitchen telling my friend, “I am so tired because I dreamed that we walked all night long through West Berlin.” He said, “It’s true! We were there! The Wall is open!” I didn’t believe him. So he said, “Go and get your passport.”
I looked at my password and saw the stamp in it. Then I said, “Well, I guess it is true. It was not just a dream.” It took months to really believe that the Wall was finally open. People thought the government would close the Wall again soon. There was a lot of insecurity in the air. Many things happened. It was a time when the truth about Communism came to the light. The whole system was uncovered, and all the evil that was done to people was exposed. Most of the people had a record with the Secret Service. Looking into these records, you found out that many people had been bribed by the Stasi. They gave information to them when someone was in contact with relatives in the West, or spoke against Communism, or had money from the West, or watched programs from the West on TV. These people were registered and life was hard for them. They couldn’t study or receive visits from West Germany, or even travel. Their families were being observed.
The Secret Service had installed small speakers in phone booths or in apartments so that they could listen to every word people would speak. People found all of this out after the Wall fell. They may have found that it was their own husband, wife, or children who were treacherous and told on them, and even received money for it. People who really believed in Communism and tried to live it were totally disappointed. The mask of Communism fell, and the face of a demon became visible. Outwardly, communism had not looked so bad. Communism took over after World War II. Germany lost the war, and Russia, America, England, and France won the war together. Those four countries each got their share of
Germany. East Germany belonged to Russia, and West Germany belonged America, England, and France. Berlin was split between East and West. Everything in Germany was broken down — left in ruins by the war. Many men were in captivity in Russia, or they came home wounded or cast down and defeated in their spirits. The women in East and West Germany started to clean up the rubble in the cities, and build new buildings with what they found, since many of the men had been killed or imprisoned in Russia.
In 1949, East Germany was under the power and influence of Russia, and became the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The GDR got all its direction from Russia, whereas West Germany got its direction from America. America supported West Germany a lot, so it quickly started to flourish. Russia, on the other hand, didn’t have much money to help finance East Germany, so it was very hard for the East German citizens to rebuild the economy.
In the 50s the reforms started. Communism started taking over people’s lives. My grandfather was a farmer and had a large property and many animals, which he had inherited from his father. He always had servants who lived with him and worked for him for many years. The servants came years later and told us how much they appreciated my grandfather and had liked working for him. When my grandfather died, my father inherited his property. Communism changed everything. We had 20 cows, many horses, and flocks of sheep and geese. Then the State came and said, “You have to give us your fields and land so
that we can use it for the common good of the people.” My father didn’t want to give them his property, since it was his inheritance. So the Communist state told him he could either give it for free or they would take it from him and put him in prison. It was very hard for my father, but he had no other choice than to rent our land to the state. He was left with no fields for growing food for his animals, so he had to sell most of them. We just kept two cows, two horses, and a few pigs and chickens. My father got a job in
the “LPG” (agricultural cooperation from the Communist state). He worked there as a tractor driver for the rest of his life.
This was how it was for all the farmers or people with businesses. They had to give everything to the state for “common use.” Those who didn’t cooperate were put in prison. People who were imprisoned for political reasons were treated worse than criminals. The state controlled everything – education, economics, the media, etc.
The contrast between East and West was especially noticeable in Berlin. One side of the city flourished economically while on the other side it was very hard to survive. At first people could still travel from East Germany to West Germany, and vice-versa. August 13, 1961, was the day when the GDR government commanded the army to build the Wall. An older woman I know, and her whole family, were separated by the Wall. She was married and lived in East Berlin, and her mother and sister, with their families, lived in West Berlin. After the Wall was built they did not see each other for many years. In the 70s or 80s you needed permission for them to come and visit you for a few days, and it cost 30 marks ($15) per day per person. That was a lot of money. You may have always gone to a certain baker down the street to buy your bread, or walked down the street to visit your friends who lived just 300 meters from your house, but
after the Wall was built they were in West Berlin and were out of reach. If you tried to go over to the other side you would be killed.
We were taught that the Wall was for our protection from the evil system of Capitalism. They put into us that Capitalists oppressed people to get more money. There were the rich owners of factories and the poor workers. The rich people got more money and the poor stayed poor. In Communism people were equal, and the State promised peace and order, free education, free medical care, work for everyone, only increasing standards of living, etc. It sounded good and it looked good outwardly. Everyone had work and a place to sleep, but not everyone had his own apartment. Sometimes couples had to live in their parents’
houses for many years because they couldn’t get their own apartment. The State paid for the education of the children. The State introduced Kinderkrippe (nursery school). Children came at the age of 5 months to 3 years. Parents just had to pay 10 marks ($3) per month for three meals a day. Everyone could afford this. Kindergarten was free. The government subsidized the prices for bread, butter, milk, etc., so it was very cheap. Also, the rents and coal for the apartments were subsidized by the government. You also
got child-support money for your children. The State took care of everything. It controlled every aspect of people’s lives. Our lives were basically programmed from birth until we died. You could live a peaceful life if you agreed with the government. But the reality was that everyone grumbled and complained. It was not hard to find things to complain about.
Until I was 19 years old, I lived with my parents near the Baltic Sea, near the border to West Germany. Three times a year, we could receive visitors who stayed overnight in our house, but we needed permission from the police station for them to visit us. Everyone and everything was registered.
We were not allowed to set up a tent on our property. We couldn’t swim after 8 PM. Yes, we all had work, but not much money for the work we did. It was just enough to make it through the month.
That is why more than 90% of the women also had to work. Most people used buses or trains to go to work because not everyone had a car. If you wanted to buy a car you had to order it when you were 18 years old, and then you got the new car when you were 31 years old, and you had to pay 11,000 marks ($4,000) for it. My salary was 390 marks ($120) per month, and I just made it financially. Like most people, I could not afford a car. If you wanted something special from the markets or stores, such as bananas, oranges, or ketchup (which they only sold once or twice the year), you would stand in line and wait 4 to 5 hours to get 2 kg (4.5 lbs) of bananas or oranges. In the smaller cities you had to show your passport and prove how many there were in your family, and then you were allowed to buy a certain amount of oranges per person.
When I was a child I thought that was normal, but people always complained about everything. Medical care was free, but you had to wait three to six hours to see the doctor. Most people were not rich, but had enough to live on. The ones who had more money couldn’t do more with it because you could hardly travel anywhere without permission, and there was not much to buy in the stores. Still, no one lived
on the street or begged. Everyone had a roof over their head and enough money to have food and clothing. They taught you their definition of good and bad, and you just had to believe it.
When I turned 19, I moved to Berlin and vividly saw the reality of Communism. I worked in a Kinderkrippe and taught 20 children by myself. These children were one year old when they came to me. I had a time schedule, potty time, bedtimes, eating and playing times, teaching times, etc. We didn’t have enough people working in the Kindergarten because we got very little money. I got 390 marks per month. On the weekends, I worked the night shift in a hospital so that I could make it through the month financially. I often worked from 6 AM till 6 PM in the kindergarten, and cleaned and prepared the food for the children for the next day, but we never got more money.
One day, I was in a big meeting in Berlin with people from the government, and they asked how things were going in our kindergartens. Everyone just told them how nice everything was, that everything was running smoothly. When it was my turn to speak, I told them that we worked 12 hours every day, and did the work of a cook and a cleaning person, but for the same money. Many things were broken, and we didn’t have a sexton. We each had 20 children already, and when a colleague was sick and didn’t come, we automatically took her children too. One time I had 70 children to take care of from the ages 1 year to 3 years, all in one room, and this for three days in a row. The people from the government wrote it all down and said they would come and visit our kindergarten.
Two days later, workers came started to repair our kindergarten, repainted everything, bought new toys for the children, new towels, etc. One week later we had two teachers per group. We had a woman for the kitchen and a sexton. Then, after a couple of weeks, they sent a delegation from the government to see the kindergarten I had told them about, but everything was perfect. We were sitting together with all the colleagues from the kindergarten, and the people from government asked my colleagues what happened, because my report had been absolutely different from what they saw that day. They asked whether what I
had told them was true. No one answered. People were afraid to get in trouble. So we had to live with things like this — injustice, cowardice, and rebellion everywhere.
My friend who was also working in the kindergarten with me had two sons. One was two years old and one was four years old. Her husband tried to flee over the Wall to West Berlin and was caught and put in prison. She was called to the police station and questioned for six hours, asking whether she knew about her husband fleeing. She told them over and over again, “No, I don’t know anything about it.” After six hours they told her that they would put her in prison until a judgment was made, but it could be years,
since she was not cooperating with them. Her children would be given to other parents for adoption. But if she would admit that she knew about it, and sign a paper, she could go home to her children, and they would help her at the court case. So, she signed and went home to her children.
At the court she was judged guilty, sentenced to three years prison, but was put on probation. But she really did not know anything about her husband fleeing. She lived right next to the Wall, on the fourth floor. You could see the area between the two walls, and beyond the second wall you could see the West — people walking, buses driving. It seemed so close. After 11⁄2 years her husband was moved to West Berlin, because the West-German government paid to free him from prison. So one day, he stood on the other side of the Wall, calling to his family. It was only 50 meters from the house. My friend heard it and brought the children to the window. They waved to their father. Five minutes later a loud knock was heard at the door. “Open up!” It was the police. She opened the door, and they ran into the room and took the children away from the window. They were crying, “We just want to see our daddy.” The police told her that if she would ever do something like this again it would have consequences. This time she just got a fine.
Sometimes in the night we could hear the shooting from the Wall and knew that someone had tried to flee. We all hated the Wall, but we grew up with it. It was a part of our life. But finally it was gone! Everyone tried to reorient themselves after the Wall fell. Many questions bombarded me. “Was life better now, since the Wall was down? What was I living for? What did I want to pass on to my son?” In March 1990, there was the first Church Day in Berlin, with both East and West Germans. I didn’t know anything
about it as I walked alone through Berlin. I felt so empty and disappointed, looking for something — maybe a purpose for my life, a direction. I went through the Brandenburger gate to West Berlin and there were many people listening to a speech from people from the churches. After listening for a while, I turned to leave, disappointed even more.
But then someone handed me a freepaper. “Oh, no thank you, I don’t have West German money to pay for it,” I said. “No, this paper is free,” the person answered. I was proud and didn’t want to take a gift for the poor people from the East.” I hesitated. Then this person said, “This freepaper for free for everyone.”
“Really? For everyone?” I thought about it, and I finally took it. While I was waiting at the bus station, I started reading the paper. The first bus left, the second left, and with the third bus I finally drove home and read this paper all night long, over and over again. I didn’t understand much, but I was so stirred up in my heart that I could not let go of this paper. I read in it every day. I read the testimonies of how these people all came to a point in their lives when they were stuck, sick of living, and then they met Yahshua —
whoever that was — and received hope again. “Oh yes, I am stuck too! I need hope for me and for my
son!” I said to myself. So, I wrote a letter to the Community in Sus, told them where I was at, that I was searching for a life where so many people can live together in peace and harmony, and asked if I could live with them. I knew that I couldn’t do this myself. Then I received a letter from Miriam shel Yacob Israel. She wrote me and invited me to come and visit the Community in Sus. I wanted to go there, but how
could I do it? I had no money. The brothers in Sus told Miriam to let me know that they could come and get me. I was amazed, but I was too proud to receive it. I had to find a way, but how?
Then the money reform came. The East money was changed into West money. Every person in East Germany would get 5000 East marks changed into 5000 West marks. All the money in your bank account that was over 5000 marks would be changed so that you would only get half the amount. It was hard for people because they had worked hard for this money, and now they would lose half of it. My account was always empty, so I offered it to people. They put 5000 of their money in my account and got it back whenever they needed it. I received 500 marks (about $300) for doing this. Then I got my first payment in West money, and together this was enough to buy a ticket for me and my son to fly to Bordeaux, France.
I bought our tickets, quit my job, gave up my apartment, and went to my parents’ house. They still lived near the Baltic Sea. I told my mother, “In two weeks we will move to southern France.” “Oh really,” she said, “Are you going on vacation?” I told her, “No, I will move into a community. I read their freepaper, and do you know what? They all live together in harmony and unity with one another.” My mother asked, “Who are these people?” “I don’t know, but I read their freepaper.” I replied. My mother thought I was insane. She asked me many questions that I could not answer. “You are crazy! You don’t even know these people! You just read a paper, and you don’t even speak their language. Maybe they have a guru.” I asked her, “What is a guru?” My mother said, “You are so naïve!” In East Germany only a few people had phones. In our
village there were only two people who had phones, but there was a phone at the post office. Although it was not so easy to stand in that hot, sticky booth, I called Sus to ask if they had a guru. Abiyah answered and said, “No, we don’t have a guru.” So, I went back to my mother and said, “No, they don’t have a guru!”
“How do you know?” she asked. “I asked them.” I could not explain to her why I trusted them. Something in me was drawn to the Community. It was like a magnet. So, I left home to go to Sus. My mother was upset with me, my sister and brothers were worried; no one understood what I was doing. My colleagues from the kindergarten thought I was so courageous and admired my determination, but they themselves were too afraid to break out of their structured lives.
When I arrived at the airport in Bordeaux, I thought, “How will I recognize these people when they pick us up? I don’t know any of them.” So I gave my son a paper which said, “We want to go to Sus!” While we waited for our baggage, we saw people jumping up and down behind a glass window. It was Miriam and Tahar Takif and Talmidah! They hugged us and drove us to Sus in a red van. In the car they offered us some bread with olive oil and tomatoes. We didn’t like olive oil, but we would learn to like it. Then they
invited us to go to the beach. Actually, I didn’t want to go to the beach. I wanted to go to Sus, but it was very hot, so we went to the beach. There they asked me if I had a pair of shorts and T-shirt with me for swimming. I couldn’t believe what I saw then. They went swimming with their clothes on! I didn’t want to go swimming, but my son was so happy to be in that water.
When we arrived in Sus it was already dark. The château was full of warm light, and many people were standing in front of the entrance door waving at us. It was so nice and astonishing. The first person I noticed was Mithkah, with a baby in her arms. These people were so joyful, and hugged us, and I realized that they were actually happy that we were there. We went into the entrance hall and there they played beautiful music and sang songs. I was standing in the middle of the entrance hall when all of a sudden a man started speaking in Spanish. Everyone was quiet, and he spoke loudly and was very expressive.
There was translation into English and French, but not into German, so I did not understand what he was saying. At one point, the man stopped speaking, and it was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop. Then after a little while they all in one accord shouted, “AMEN!” My son clung to my pants, he was so afraid. I didn’t know what to think either. Then they took the instruments and everyone went outside, but Miriam said to me, “I will show you where you will sleep.” I heard the music outside and asked, “Where are they all going?” She said, “They are going to the river.” I wondered if they went swimming at night. Miriam showed us where we would sleep. I thought to myself, “Oh, so many beds, and a little corner with two mattresses on pallets.” But I saw the love and care that went into preparing it. There was a welcome basket and a card. I felt loved and wanted. An hour later I heard the music again, and I thought, “They will go to bed now,” but no one came. Later I found out that they went to the Breaking of Bread. The other sisters came late to bed. “Oh dear,” I thought, “These people are different from anyone I have ever met.”
The next morning I got up at 8 AM with my little threeyear-old son. Everyone was still in bed, but we got ready and went downstairs. We didn’t see anyone on the property, so we took a walk. At the laundry lines, a man came towards us, sleepy, his hair messy, but kind as he said, “Everyone is still sleeping. At lunchtime people will be around.” “Ok,” I said to my him, and told my son, “Let’s go back to bed.” My son was hungry and wanted to eat, but I said, “No, we are guests, and we are going back to bed.” At lunchtime everyone was up, and we all ate together outside.
Everything was so new — the languages, the food, the climate, and what they spoke about. Everyone spoke with me about Yahshua. Whatever I was doing — cleaning house or washing salad or doing laundry — there was always someone telling me about Yahshua. There was so much to think about, but I also had my little spoiled son with me. “Mama, I want chocolate milk!” I told him, “We have water, my son. Be thankful.” No butter, no potatoes, no meat, no coffee or tea, no radio, no TV… Oh dear, my flesh was screaming! But there were these beautiful people, and there was something in them that I liked — a deep trust, love, and friendship. Then one day all the children were sitting on the floor in the entrance hall and someone was telling them a story. It was a long story, almost an hour long, but they were all sitting and listening attentively. When the story was over, they all went back to their parents again. Seeing this, I knew that this was the place where I could raise up my son to give him back to our Father. It was like the Temple where the prophet Shemuel was raised. This was the first revelation I received.
This was what I wanted, but it was a while before I understood about Yahshua. In the evenings my head was so full that I didn’t know if I would fit through the door with it. I needed time to digest all that I had heard. This is what I used the nights for. Yes, these people loved one another, and our Father was here.
This was clear to me. I wanted to learn how to love and become a part of this people. I chose this life of salvation. In the beginning, I often felt like a little green man from Mars. I felt as if no one understood me. Although many of them spoke my language, we came from two different cultures. It was very difficult for me to trust and love authority, and it was hard for me to believe that the Wall had opened up for us, but I never regretted the choice I made. I am so thankful to be a part of this people, and that I can live in true peace and harmony. I had to learn so many things new, which was hard for me at times. But I am thankful for this refuge, and that I could raise my son up in our Father’s ways. I knew that I could not raise him up alone.
Our Father knew what I needed. We lived in Sus for about six years, and then moved to Germany where a Community was established near Bremen. Then, on November 9, 1998, we went to Berlin for the 10-
year anniversary of the downfall of the Berlin Wall. We wanted to be there to see whether people were still in a trance or were in reality. Could they now listen to the Good News and hear about true freedom?
I realized something amazing at this event. In front of the Brandenburger Tor, the gate at the border between East and West, a big screen was put up. There they presented a schedule of the events that had taken place in the East German government on the night when the Wall opened up — November 9, 1989. It started with a press conference. Reporters from all over the world were sitting there, many falling asleep while a member from the East German government, Gunter Schakowsky, spoke empty words about Communism, with no reality behind them. Everyone had heard it over and over again, and no one believed it anymore. While he was speaking, someone gave him a note, and he read it, thinking it was already approved. He said, “The government wants to make it easier for people from the GDR to travel, and give new travel regulations so that they can go through every border!”
Then an Italian reporter woke up and said, “What does this mean? Can people travel wherever they want? Will you open the Wall? When? Now?” Schakowsky was absolutely unprepared and stuttered, “Well, I guess so. This is what it says on this note. Yes, I guess the wall will open now!” Then he got very nervous
and said, “The press conference is over.” All the reporters jumped up and immediately phoned their editorial departments. At 9:15 PM, one hour after the press conference, the media brought the news to the West in the evening news, saying, “Schakowsky announced in a press conference that the Wall is open and people can pass without problems.” Half an hour later, people showed up at the Wall and asked to go over to West Berlin. They said that it was made public on TV that the Wall was open. The officer there didn’t know what to think, and called someone in the government. He said, “No way! The wall stays closed.”
More and more people came to the border and called for the Wall to open. The West German media got involved, broadcasting on TV, radio, through politicians, etc. At this point the government of East Germany tried to reach President Gorbachev in Moscow, but he wasn’t there. More and more tension came to this border on the Bernauer Strasse. Then one of the officers said, “Citizens from East Germany, get your passports and come to the border. The Wall will open up!” In the East German government there was total confusion. No one knew how this all happened. Then the government gave the order to let some go through, and put a stamp in their passports. “Let them go. They will not have this chance again.” This was when I went over. At 1:30 AM I was in the center of West Berlin when the East German government gave the order to send trucks full of snipers to the borders and close it up again. Everyone who went over to
West Berlin would not be allowed to come back. They interviewed some of the young soldiers who were
sent to secure the Wall again. They were 19 or 20 years old, and they felt very nervous and insecure.
There was so much pressure on them, they could hardly handle it. When these young soldiers arrived at the border and saw the happy people — happy soldiers with their cheeks full of lipstick from kisses of happy people, and flower garlands around their necks — they felt unable to do what they were sent to do.
They told the government that it was not possible to do what they should do because of the atmosphere there. The next morning at 7:30 AM, Gorbachev got a message saying, “People rebelled. The wall is open. It’s getting out of control. What should we do?” Gorbachev answered, “What did you do?” “We opened the gates,” the German government replied. “Good,” President Gorbachev replied, “That was right! It is time for the people to rule!” The East German government expected the Russians to come with their tanks and bring order again, but what a relief when they read the message from President Gorbachev.
From that day on, THE WALL WAS OPEN!