I grew up in the Eastern Block behind the Iron Curtain. I was only 13 when Berlin was reunited, and I remember the events leading up to it. I remember visiting Berlin when the Wall was still standing, right after the checkpoints between East and West Berlin were opened. I remember walking along the plaque near Checkpoint Charlie that marks where the wall stood, 15 years later. I remember visiting the East Side Gallery, the remaining stretch of the Wall near the Ostbahnhof.
It was 25 years ago this summer they started to tear it down. Most of the Wall was destroyed, but some segments stayed erect. Others have been given to various institutions around the world, like the Imperial War Museum in London and the European Parliament in Brussels. To this day the fall of the Wall and its remaining parts serve as reminders, and symbols of victory over the Eastern Bloc’s authoritarian systems.