In days like these, when there are so many uprisings that are answered by violence, I thought it would be a good idea to focus on a positive aspect in German history: The Peaceful Revolution of 1989.
In short, the Peaceful Revolution was the non-violent uprising of the people of East Germany during the 1980s (mainly the fall of 1989) to express their displeasure with their government, which severely oppressed their freedom. It led to the overthrow of the DDR (GDR) government.
The main events started with the Monday Prayers and demonstrations at the Nikolai Kirche in Leipzig (encouraged through Glasnost/Perestroika in the USSR, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and long-time organizing through the Church) and eventually led to people in Berlin climbing the wall on November 9, 1989.
Of course, there are a lot more details and aspects to consider. I highly recommend to read up on the events to be reminded that some things can be resolved in a peaceful manner.
Because I only have one minute to work with, I decided to skip explanatory text in the video – and instead of showing a lot of the historic locations of these events, exclusively focus on the Berlin churches involved. These churches are the locations where Atheists, Christians and people of all different spiritual beliefs came together to pray, hold vigils and organize.
The churches in order of appearance:
- Gethsemanekirche (Prenzlauer Berg – Stargarder Straße)
- Elisabethkirche (Mitte – Invalidenstrasse)
- Zionskirche (Mitte – Zionskirchplatz)
- Bekenntniskirche (Treptow – Plesser Strasse)
- Samariterkirche (Friedrichshain – Samariterstraße)
If you want to explore the locations of the Peaceful Revolution, I recommend checking out this list and photo series from the official Berlin page.
The song is “Sheltering Sky” by Cassis and Boxerin.
A little inside information, the guy walking towards camera in the first church is my friend David from the andberlin blog, who just by chance was wearing a T-Shirt featuring the image of people climbing the Berlin wall. That had to make it into the video.
You can look at more photos from this video shoot on my personal blog: Photos from the 1989 Peaceful Revolution Video Shoot