Saturday, August 29, 2015

On Building Walls

Humans must have been building walls since the beginning of time. First, to keep animals out, and to protect the members of the clan who were ‘in’. Then, to keep invaders out.

China's Great Wall, picture taken from here

To protect cities in difficult times.

City Wall of Nördlingen (Germany), photo taken from here

Later on, when cities were growing, the walls around them were torn down to make room for new citizens, new houses, new developments. Walls had proven to be a hindrance!

But they came back. Walls to keep people fenced in, as in concentration camps. And then, in the bizarre development of the Cold War, a whole country was turned into a huge concentration camp, the ‘Berlin Wall’ (and its counterparts on the other borders of the German Democratic Republic) was built because too many people were leaving the country. Thirty-five years, and then it fell, because the people within weren’t taking it any longer.

The Wall enclosing Berlin, picture taken from here

You can find more pictures of the Berlin Wall here. 

That end of the Berlin Wall came twenty-five years ago – and one would assume that humanity might have learned something from history.
But no, we are building new walls. In Israel.

Wall between Palestine and Israel, picture taken from here.

In the United States.

The Wall between USA and Mexico, picture from today's Süddeutsche Zeitung.

In France, to ‚protect’ the Eurotunnel so that refugees cannot get to England illegally.

"Security" Fence at the Eurotunnes, picture taken from here.

And now Hungary, the country that first took steps to open the communist wall, has finished the construction of its new wall – against refugees trying to reach Europe. Just imagine how much help could have been given to the refugees if the amount of money which went into the construction of that wall, had been spent on food and water for the refugees instead, on investments in the countries they are running away from?

Wasn’t it an American President who demanded that the Soviet Leader tear down that wall? To me, right now, it seems as if this is the wrong film. Do we really think walls are a solution to the problem?

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