“The fall of the (Berlin) Wall only occurred 20 years ago. It’s very recent, but it’s very important, perhaps one of the most important historical events of our age,” says Justinian Jampol, the founder and Executive Director of the Los Angeles-based Wende Museum.
The Wende’s mission is to preserve Cold War artifacts and personal histories from the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain, with a special emphasis on the former East Germany. Many of the materials that make up the museum’s collection come from former Stasi secret police agents, Berlin Wall border guards, and members of the other Eastern European and Soviet communist regimes that would have otherwise been lost to history.
Jampol describes one of the museum’s treasures: the Berlin Wall border guards’ log books from the day the Wall fell. These books demonstrate the devotion some guards had for defending the Wall, both as an idea and a physical presence, as they continued to detail the thousands of “illegal border crossings” that took place after the Wall had already fallen.
The museum is also behind the “Wall on Wilshire Project,” where 10 pieces of the monstrous Berlin Wall were flown to LA, reconstructed along a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard and painted over by street artists to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.
Approximately 4.25 minutes. Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Shot by Sharif Matar.
Music: “Warzaw Express” by Pharaos
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