How in 1989 I missed Berlin’s reunification party

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, designed by Prussian architect Carl Gotthard Langhans and built between 1788 and 1791

Today 30 years ago, on October 3rd, 1990, what was left of Germany after World War II finally reunited. As I have mentioned before in this blog, I always believed in German reunification and was laughed at for quite a while by fellow (West) Germans. At the end, history proved me right and that still gives me some personal satisfaction.

Therefore I can’t really believe that I forgot what I did on such a relevant day. I also can’t ask the person that at the time was my best friend, as he died from cancer in May of this year.

Nevertheless, there’s a quite funny story that happened in Berlin at the turn of the year 1989, and it’s directly related to the process of Germany growing together after more than 44 years of partition.

At the backyard apartment of the above-mentioned late buddy we were celebrating the fact that for the first time since 1960, we would be able to enjoy New Year’s Eve together without any political restrictions.

The city was no longer divided by the ugly wall that the East German Communists had built on August 13th, 1961 to stop even more citizens of the Workers and Farmers’ State from escaping that alleged paradise.

There were about a dozen of us who, after having a few drinks at home, planned to leave around 10 PM for Brandenburg Gate, an 18th-century neoclassical monument located in the heart of my home town, to go on partying on this very special occasion.

The guests left in two groups and I was supposed to join the second one. As I had consumed a few bottles of beer, I went to the bath room before walking into the cold winter night and obviously spent there more time than expected.

To my great surprise (or better said) dismay, when I came out the lights were turned off and the guy living there was nowhere to be seen. I rattled at the flat’s door, but it had been locked. I was trapped inside!

When I looked out of the window, I watched in horror how the aisle lamp in the front building went off. It turned out that under the influence of alcohol and in a state of euphoria they had simply forgotten me!

Well, the first bunch thought I was in the second and vice versa. Once they had arrived at the site of the event attended by an estimated 250,000 people, they all got separated in the big crowd anyway and nobody asked about my whereabouts anymore.

As there was nothing but milk left in the fridge, I drank some tap water and went to sleep. When my pal came home tired early in the morning, I was fresh as a daisy. So after all I had a good start into the year 1990!


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