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Berlin revisited

Sep 14 2012 14:01

Bertie in East Berlin in 1976

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AS A STUDENT in Germany in the mid-1970s, Fin24 user Bertie du Plessis never had any hope that the Berlin Wall would ever come down.

Now the cloud has been lifted and it is one of the friendliest, most civilized cities he has ever visited, he writes in his blog Marketing democracy.

"... the purpose of the visit was to attend the Leonard Cohen 'Old ideas'  world tour concert. And what an experience.

"One of the highlights of the evening was when Cohen (after carefully explaining that the next song was not to be seen as support for any candidate or party in the coming American election) turned to sing 'Bring democracy to the USA… first we'll take Manhatten (sic)…'  and then with the very next word the audience purred, not like a kitten, but like a lion: 'First we take Manhatten, then we take Berlin!'

" 'The greatest gift of the West was giving democracy to the world,'  said Cohen in his opening remarks, and I have seldom been prouder of being of Western stock then.

"Oh and of course, I could also not have imagined 35 years ago that fast forward to 2012 the governing party in South Africa would be using the same rhetoric and mental frameworks that produced the wall!

" 'But then, as Cohen also sang 'There are cracks in everything, that's where the light shines through'.”

 - Fin24

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