The coverage of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which occurred earlier this month, was disappointing. Much of it made it seem as if the wall just fell down, like a weathered old barn. But it did not fall down; it was torn down. Little coverage seemed interested in why and how.
The error was made in high places. Before the anniversary, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, put out an official statement in which he paid tribute to the Gdansk shipyard workers and Prague’s Charter 77. But mostly he offered Euro-speak about multilateral efforts to combat climate change.
Maas, like so many others, did not acknowledge that the key turning point in the Cold War, the events that made 1989 happen in the way that it did — non-violently through a moral revolution — began 10 years earlier in 1979. In 1979, St. John Paul II visited Poland. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister of the United Kingdom. Continue Reading →