Back in November ’89 RTÉ Cláracha Gaeilge’s daily programme CÚRSAÍ was the first and only RTÉ programme to hot foot it to Berlin to bring the story of the fall of the Berlin Wall to Irish viewers. Seán Ó Méalóid was the intrepid reporter who witnessed this moment in history. To mark the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, Cláracha Gaeilge want to celebrate this unique moment and recapture the tension, excitement and emotion which was felt not only in Berlin but right around the world. Then, all the talk was of tearing down walls, opening borders and bringing people together, Ar ais go Berlin ’89 is more than just a nostalgic trip down memory lane, 30 years on so much has changed with global divisive identity politics. B
The Feeling I had at the time was that everything is possible…I went by bicycle along the wall almost everyday…and I thought well this is a thing forever… and it wasn’t – from one day to the other it changed and so I had the feeling… everything can change. – Joachim Steinheuer
At that day this wall came down…and everything seemed possible. – Silke Leopold.
A guy gave me a couple of pfennigs to call my parents – so I went into a telephone box…they hadn’t dared to come along with us. My mum would have loved to, but my father was too scared. So I called at 3am from KuDamm and said I am in the West! They were blown away and cried and it was very, very emotional. – Deike Potzel, East Berliner & German Ambassador to Ireland
In terms of a classless society…you didn’t have those big gaps…My father was a veterinary doctor and he would earn as much as our neighbour who was working on a construction site and they met in the evening and they sat together outside having a BBQ and drank a beer together …on the other hand you clearly had that gap between people who were members of the Party or the Stasi, who were aligned with the system and those who weren’t. So when you were not part of that system it was very difficult. People were shot and put in prison. So there was a very clear political divide between people, not so much socio-economic, but definitely political. Deike Potzel, East Berliner & German Ambassador to Ireland