Monistrol-sur-Loire | Monistrol-sur-Loire: "Thirty years ago, I broke a piece of the Berlin Wall"
On November 9, 1989, Alain Girard was on a mission in the GDR for SCEMM, a Stéphane company. He vividly remembers the hope of freedom that had invaded the East Germans. Since then, on its chimney, in Monistrol-sur-Loire, sit two pieces of concrete torn from the "Wall of shame".
Alain Girard is not a collector of stones (even if he also owns a piece of the Wall of China): the pieces of concrete that he presents are above all a fond memory of his presence, on November 9, 1989 , in Berlin. Photo Le Progrès / Isabelle DEVOOS
It is not a trophy. Rather a memory of a beautiful day. On the chimney of his house in La Rivoire, in Monistrol-sur-Loire, Alain Girard, 71, laid two small pieces of concrete torn from the Berlin Wall, on November 9, 1989. "& nbsp; I sealed them on a wooden base. They have great sentimental value for me. These are not fakes like many debris tagged and sold at high prices to tourists. Those, I broke them myself with chisels, testifies the Monistrolian, thoughtful. We didn't know it but we were living in a historic day. & Nbsp; "
"& Nbsp; It had been a few days on television that we had snippets of information on crowd movements in Liepzig, he recalls. We understood that something was happening. But the most striking thing was to see the houses emptying in the small hamlets. People were leaving leaving everything behind, hoping that the borders would open, and moving to the other side. The following Sunday, with my colleagues, we went to Berlin. We spent the day there and joined the crowd to break down the Concrete Wall. He was very tough. We got some pieces. Colleagues in Saint-Etienne also wanted stones to be brought back to them, "he laughs.
Alain Girard (center), an employee of the SCEMM in Saint-Etienne, was 41 years old when he was sent on a mission to the GDR. This photo was taken in front of the Wall, eight days before the pacifist revolution which will lead to its destruction. Photo DR / Provided by Alain Girard
"& Nbsp; In some places, there were already gaps. I remember passing my head. I saw a 200-meter strip of land that separated the two Germanys, as well as searchlights and watchtowers ... There was an East German soldier who looked at us completely helpless. He approached us. We talked a bit, I gave him a cigarette. I should have taken a photo because that moment was a symbol. "
In the afternoon, SCEMM employees meet at the Brandenburg Gate (the entrance to the old Berlin and part of the Wall): "& nbsp; There, it was a crazy jubilation. People were kissing, laughing, singing ... There were a lot of people. Some seemed completely lost, terrified by what was happening. I remember there were a lot of soldiers. Families reunited after years of separation. They were celebrating what they had missed so much: freedom. "