13 August 2011 – 50 years ago, the Berlin Wall arose to divide

1934 Reverend Michael King visits Berlin for teh 5th Baptist World Conference. He later changes his name to Martin Luther King sr. and that of his son to Martin Luther King jr.
1964 Marting Luther King jr. travels to West Berlin to speak at a ceremony commemorating the assassinated US president John F. Kennedy who had visited West Germany in 1963.


Martin Luther King, Jr. (left) and Ralph Abernathy (right) at the Berlin Wall on September 13, 1964. King had been invited to the German capital by Berlin mayor Willy Brandt. King also visited East Berlin during this trip. (Details below.)
PHOTO: Landesarchiv Berlin




13 August 2011:

A very sad and solemn day for me. Fifty years ago, one year before my birth and 16 years after WWII, on 13 August 1961 the Berlin Wall became the physical separator between West and East Germans. Many people never saw their friends and family again before the fall of the wall in 1989. Growing up in West Germany in the 60s and 70s the division of the two Germanys was a constant reminder of the futility of war and the terrible suffering and devastation that had been caused by the German nation.
The wall fell over 20 years ago, without violence and war, but the division of East and West Germany can still be felt now. Today, I cannot but feel despair about the incongruity of human actions which lead to so much useless suffering and so many deaths, all completely non sensical and useless.