Three generations recall being divided

November 12, 2009 2:04:59 PM PST
This week Germans are remembering the historical event that changed their lives 20 years ago. In November 1989, the border separating East and West Germany opened when the Berlin Wall came crashing down. Eyewitness News traveled to Germany to find out what this important date means to many generations.

In just a few pages of Albrecht Stoermer's diary, just a few words say it all.

"Die mauer felt," the former East German read. "The wall falls."

Nov. 9, 1989 is a day marked in the memories of all who call Germany home. Albrecht and Nortrud Stoermer were studying to become teachers and experienced life in the East firsthand.

"The communist party was very, very hard," Albrecht Stoermer said. "The security was very, very hard. You couldn't say your meaning. Many, many people were imprisoned."

The two were part of the almost 3 million people who escaped to West Germany before the wall was built.

"The wall was built in two days -- one day -- two day -- and it was there," Nortrud Stoermer said.

"We knew this regime, the Communist regime, will have no future," Albrecht Stoermer said.

Albrecht Stoermer was right, but what he didn't predict was the date in his diary.

"I didn't believe that I would -- during my lifetime --" he said, "thanks, God."

While many Germans are celebrating this 20th anniversary, exactly how they mark it depends on their generation."

The Stoermer's son, Matthias, was born into a life divided by the wall. He fully realized the impact at just 16 when he met a girl named Sirkka on a train.

"We exchanged addresses first," he said, "and wrote letters a lot."

The two began dating, but that was difficult.

"You came into East Berlin and you had to leave the capital of the German Democratic Republic, as they said, by midnight," he said. "It was a hard situation."

Their relationship became even more difficult when they had a daughter in 1987.

"I think the East German official said, 'Well, if you want to visit your friend in the West, you can come, but the daughter stays here," Matthias Stoermer said.

Nov. 9, 1989, is really an anniversary for them, too.

"It was like a liberation," Sirkka Stoermer said.

Today, that little girl that could never come to the West to visit her father is now 22.

"It was not an easy time for my grandparents and my parents," Josefine Stoermer said.

Josefine is part of the post-wall generation, just 2 years old when the wall came down.

"For my generation, there is no classification of East and West," she said. "We are all together."

Her younger sister, Constanze, was born 10 years later. She is still learning English, so she read what she wanted to say.

"I think it's great that there is no wall anymore," she read. "I want peace, and I'm from Leipzig."

Generations of the Stoermers live in both the old East and West, which is now a united and free Germany. While they all bring different perspectives to the kitchen table, there is no question is it boldly marked in their family's past.

"A miracle has happened after 28 years," Albrecht Stoermer said.

      QUICK HEADLINES | MORE US/WORLD | GET NEWS ALERTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC13 SOCIAL NETWORKING
Find us on Facebook® | Follow us on Twitter | More social networking
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MORE FROM ABC13
ABC13 widget | Most popular stories | Street-level weather
ABC13 wireless | Slideshow archive | Help solve crimes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments