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#MauerStories: “We watched beautiful moments from our kitchen window”

From her window, Danielle de Picciotto could peek over the wall, across the so-called death strip, into East Berlin. Until it was no more.

A woman peers out from the death strip a few months after the Wall fell (Photos: imago images / Rolf Zöllner)

After the fall of the Wall we watched beautiful moments from our kitchen window. For example, West Berliners leaning a ladder against the Wall and climbing up. And then, on the other side, guards from East Berlin placing a ladder in the so-called Todesstreifen (the heavily secured no-man’s land known as the “death strip”). They climbed up, too, only to then spend a few hours talking to the West Berliners. Or, when the first piece of the Wall was taken away and a dog scampered through the gap and chased rabbits on the death strip.

It was an incredible feeling of shock, then freedom. From our flat, we had a view across the wall, the death strip, and the East. We were confronted by this symbol of the Cold War constantly, and we thought it was indestructible. But when a dog just bounded across the border without hesitation, we felt for the first time that it was really over.

Danielle de Picciotto is an American-born multimedia artist: painter, illustrator, musician, author and filmmaker. Together with her then-partner Dr. Motte, she organised the first Love Parade.

Danielle de Picciotto today.

Translated by Aida Baghernejad


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