Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
I do not know what happened in Kreuzberg that day. I suppose life went on more less as usual: house occupations, police interventions, political discussions, private conversations.
I do know, however, what happened in my home country that day. And so do many others who in 1981 woke up that day – aged 3, 9, 27, 53 or 80 – only to find out that yet again they live in an occupied country.
On December 13th, 1981 at 6.00 AM martial law was introduced – the army took over the rule of the state. Whether this was the right decision or not has been wildly disputed ever since (you can read more about it here). I am unable to judge it. I don´t think you can.
To a nine-year-old me only two things mattered: my dad had been gone for a couple of days and we had no idea either where he was or when he was to return (most of the police forces were dispatched towards the eastern border where the Soviet army was expected to march in and into bigger cities where massive demonstrations were predicted – he was gone for two weeks) and my favourite Sunday morning kids´ show was cancelled. Instead there was a balding guy in dark glasses and a uniform saying something about threat and keeping calm and my mum was crying.
A couple of hours later I saw my first “live” tanks and the world, like our TV back then, became black-and-white. And then it faded to grey.
Here are some photos of that world. It mattered to me and it still does. I think it´s important to show them.