Reflecting at the Berlin Wall - walls that divide support invalid regimes

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Ian Stehbens on March 17, 2009

Dear Amelia,

I was here as part of my research into peaceful regime change. Berlin along with Wittenberg were anchor points in that journey. I had opportunity to travel backwards and forwards across the old DDR/FDR boundary, interviewing people of many different walks of life on both sides of the old border. It was a fascinating experience to hear of their different reactions to the unification lead up and process and to correlate that with their particular role or involvement. I met with a mayor, a historian, doctor, teacher, unemployed shipyard workers, electrician, baker, sawmiller, farmer, retired pastors, retired housewives, widow, insurance salesman, IT guy, border customs chief on the Hamburg-Berlin Railway, ......

By the time I came to this place, the dark aspects of the whole history had been shared, and the crosses in the right background demanded a deep respect. I met with people who were descended from the same ancestors as I and who knew members of their family who were killed by Allied bombs, and my own Dad was in 460 Squadron RAAF.

There was much to ponder, much significance to recognise, big questions to ask, and profound answers realised.

The journey to this place was a journey for me to one of the scars on the face of humanity, and in my journeys I had been creating healing sutures.

I will continue to actively build peace. There was much sadness to ponder, but for a hope-filled purpose.

Thanks for noticing, for caring and for allowing a response.



Hazel Coetzee on April 3, 2009

Pleased to meet you, Ian.

My son, who is here from Cork, glanced at the pc screen and asked, "Who is that - he looks so sad..?" It must have been a very emotional experience, Ian, and you have expressed your thoughts to us so eloquently (as always). God bless and help you in your peace-building endeavours. There are so many scars to heal but there is always - always - hope.

With warm wishes Hazel

Ian Stehbens on April 3, 2009

Dear Hazel,

May I assure you that joy is a very big part of my life, but significance probably overrides that in my temperament, and this was one of those occasions when to pose with joy on my face felt inappropriate. I had just visited each of the crosses (in the dark background) and read each name and detail.

Thank you for your understanding. And it is special to now have a "met you" conversation. Are you going to upload a Hazel image? I hope so.



Ian Stehbens on March 28, 2010

Thank you, Ray.

Your fellowship in this is appreciated. read my comments above, and for your appreciation. As I said on your Regan Memorial photo, I trust that diplomacy and accountability, will see another wall being torn down in this presidency. Transformation can take place.


Grey-Eagle Ray on March 28, 2010

Point taken Ian

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 20, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens