Berlin. 30 years of the fall of the wall: this Sarthois was there in November 1989
Yves Sallard, 72-year-old Sarthois today, experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall on the spot in November 1989. Thirty years later, he made the bitter observation of disappointed illusions.
He was still there last week. Berlin has become a familiar city. I go there about once a year, says 72-year-old Yves Sallard. The Sarthois septuagenarian experienced one of the major events of the end of the 20th century live.
On November 11, 1989, in the company of his wife Marie-Hélène and a couple of friends, he made a special trip across the Rhine to attend the festivities and the incessant ballet of cars waiting to cross the finally permeable border. It was very impressive to see this endless line of cars and all those East Germans coming out.
"The first time I went to Berlin in 1972, I said that the day the wall fell, we would drink champagne. It was Clairette de die but I have kept my promise, the warned Germanophile laughs.
Her stepfather was a prisoner in Poland (in ancient Germany) during the war. And today, her daughter lives with a German citizen and her two grandchildren have dual Franco-German nationality. I have always had an interest in Germany and even in Central Europe in general.
As for Berlin, it is not an ordinary city, it is marked by a tragic history, he sums up. Yves however deplores all the business around the wall and its commemoration.
It has become a tourist attraction and it bothers me because the wall no longer exists, but virtually it is still there. There is always a two-speed Germany between west and east. We forget the dashed hopes of the people in the east. The slogan in 89 was: "We are the people". Ten years later already, when I returned there in 99, the message displayed on the banners had become: "We were the people. "
The Sarthois is showing pessimism about the development of the situation in Germany. His concerns are geared towards the rise of nationalism, as elsewhere in the world and in Europe. As Mitterrand said: nationalism is war. Other walls exist elsewhere between the United States and Mexico, between Palestine and Israel. And we are witnessing the rise of regionalism in Europe.
As if the teachings of the past had been forgotten. But this is the look of an old man, he relativizes with self-mockery. It would be interesting to ask young people how they see things.
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