November 9, 2019, will mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which makes this historic moment lie further in the past than the inhuman rampart itself ever existed (which was from 1961 to 1989). Many of our readers probably weren’t even born when David Hasselhoff tore down the wall by looking for freedom (sic!), and, all of a sudden, the people of a divided country and a city, where this division was most apparent, were united again.
After millions lost their lives in World War II, which left politics leaping right into the Cold War, there was not a single shot fired in the year of 1989 – it was a peaceful revolution and the consequences are still present today. In one word: freedom. Freedom of travel, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly. Freedom is a central element for skateboarding as well. You take the freedom to use public space as you please and, by that, generate an incredible amount of freedom yourself.
Even the surveillance state GDR couldn’t prevent a small skateboard scene from coming together (shortly before the wall fell, they even produced an official skateboard called “Germina Speeder”), but if anyone had taken the freedom to backtail from east to west as Philipp Oehmige did, they would’ve made use of the Schießbefehl [the order to use lethal force and fire on people trying to cross the border, editor’s note] in a split second. Remember that we’re not speaking about the Middle Ages but the 1980s – the decade in which Marty McFly traveled back to the future on his hoverboard.
Every now and then, we should remember to appreciate the fact that, nowadays, people from all over the world can skate the Bänke on Warschauer Street and, afterwards, take a stroll to Kreuzberg for a beer or two after the session. Especially in times where in other parts of the world walls still exist, where walls are called for by racist and idiotic “presidents” purely for the sake of populism, and toxic quacks are trying to break the UK from the EU (or may have succeeded in doing so by the time this issue has been released), that’s more important to remember than ever. To remember what a free world is worth and what mankind can create if we come together in unity and stand up for a free, open, and peaceful society.
Julian Adomako – Heelflip
Freedom is never easy, it requires courage and constant struggles, but it needs to be the right of every person on this planet. Berlin has grown together. You can just go out and have fun on your skateboard anywhere from Reinickendorf to Köpenick, from Zehlendorf to Marzahn. Some decades ago, this would have been unthinkable. We should remember this whenever we dare to think about trying the “unthinkable”.