Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A visit to "Germany - Memories of a Nation by the British Museum"

When I was invited to a viewing of the exhibition “Germany – Memories of a Nation” in the British Museum, I was looking forward to a German breakfast and some exhibits representative of Germany’s history over the past centuries. I couldn't have been more wrong...

Being German myself, I was somehow sure that what I would see would be familiar, interesting but not necessarily affecting me when strolling through the exhibition’s hallways.

Something I didn’t expect was just how much the moving image of the falling wall, people scrambling across the border and hugging each other, raising their arms signalling “victory” would take me straight back to my nine year old self. At the time, and I remember this as if it was yesterday, my parents called both my brother and me into the living room. We found them both sat on the edge of the sofa staring at the television screen, my mum with tears in her eyes. What we watched that evening, an event that has changed the course of German history and everyday life, has stayed with me since, be it through my close friends in the cities of Leipzig and Dresden or through our current Chancellor Angela Merkel who grew up in the East.

It is difficult for me to put into words how I felt as I revisited my personal experience of November 9th 1989 in the British Museum; standing amongst other visitors watching, there was a lot of whispering, smiling, remembering – an atmosphere which is sure to turn into a much louder version in Berlin and across our country come this year’s 25th anniversary.

Remembering this event in 2014, I have read through the pages of “WALL”, stunningly illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole and published by Templar, a few times now. It is the story of one boy trying to reunite his family with his father, who – as the reader will discover – has been separated from them, but is not that far away after all. Take a look yourself…

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