No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Monday Hot Read – Spiegel Online’s “The Guard Who Opened the Berlin Wall”

by @ 12:07 on November 9, 2009. Filed under History.

The German website Spiegel Online had one of their reporters interview former East German border guard Lieutenant-Colonel Harald Jäger as part of their extensive coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Jäger, who was in charge of the East Berlin checkpoint at Bornholmer Strasse, was the first guard to let East Germans cross over to West Berlin on November 9, 1989. As a teaser, I’ll give you a single question-answer exchange between Cordt Schnibben and Jäger that illustrates just how different the 9th was from the average day at the Berlin Wall:

SPIEGEL: The border guards used to refer to anyone trying to cross the border without the right documents as ‘wild boar.’

Jäger: Yes that’s right, we would use that term for people who would turn up at night, often drunk, at our checkpoint and wanted to get across. But it was different that night. These were people who wanted to get across because they were referring to a statement by a member of the Politburo. I didn’t regard them as wild boar.

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