"St. Michael's and the Berlin Wall" - Part II

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    The Lutheran Journal, Vol. 59, #3, 1990 - Erwin Weber

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In the previous issue, the rich cultural history of St. Michael's Church in Erfurt was discussed from its beginning in 1182 until it offered shelter to the peaceful revolution begun in East Germany. This issue focuses on the courageous Christians who went into the streets and staged demonstrations to demand changes in their homeland to denounce exploitation, suffering and suppression and advocate basic human rights.

Pastor Hartmann urged the demonstrators to say the prayer of peace before entering the streets for demonstrations. For when one is reminded of "Oh, Lord, make me an instrument of your peace" with a candle in your hand, no matter how angry you are, how excited you are, you are reminded that there shall be no force, no violence; there were no battles in the streets. The demonstrations were boiling with hate for what the state had inflicted upon them for the last 40 years, and the police, armed to the teeth, had confronted the demonstrators. We all know the events which led to the fall of the Wall in Berlin on November 11, 1989 when the people from the East and the West headed for the Wall and fell into each others arms. Those were the headlines. This articles concentrates on what stood behind those lines.

My photograph on the cover shows a crowd in East Germany listening to a speaker before the peaceful revolution began in East Germany in 1989.