Monday 1 April 2024


The worst traffic jam that ever  happened in the world was in China in August 2010 in the Beijing-Tibet Expressway. It lasted for an incredible 12 days! The drivers could move only 1 km per day! One bottle of water which costs only 1 Yuan was sold on this highway for 15 during that time. So also noodles and cigarettes!! There are similar incidents elsewhere in the world. In February 2011 at Chicago Illinois and Bethel, New York in 1969.Each traffic jam- small or big- anywhere in the world  is a harrowing experience for those who have experienced.

But here I am writing about a traffic jam-it was a gateway to a new world- which happened in Berlin, Germany in April 1990.Berlin wall was brought down by jubilant crowds of East Germany on 9 November 1989 piece by piece. It was estimated to be 18 million cars on the roads on  12 April 1990- it was Easter holidays-  during unification process full of Germans eager to reconnect with friends and family members with a fallen Berlin wall which many thought would remain forever, me included. Many East Germans were thinking that the borders now open could be closed anytime later! But instead it turned out to be a peaceful revolution. It stopped eventually the iron curtain and started the process of demise of communism in the world! Neither a shot was fired nor anyone died!

Aftermath of defeat of Germany in WW II...
After the utter defeat of Germany and axis forces- unconditional surrender- in the WWII, the jubilant allied forces agreed by a common decision to divide Germany into four zones who occupied namely Britain, USA,USSR and France. The capital Berlin too was so divided. Such a decision was taken at a high level meeting at Yalta. You may note that Yalta is in Livadiya, Crimea which was a part of Ukraine but forcibly incorporated by Russia as Republic of Crimea. The palace where the meeting took place  on February 4-11,1945 was former summer retreat of last Russian Tsar Nicholas and family.

The zones taken by Britain, USA and France became west Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) practicing Capitalism and free market economy while the USSR zone became East Germany(German Democratic Republic) practicing Communism. Both came into existence in 1949 .

Brandenburg Gate...
Brandenburg Gate which is Berlin's most popular landmark to date is a monument gateway which reminds us of Acropolis, Greece. This gate was built by King Fredrich William II in 1788-1791.The Quadriga on the top of it depicting a two wheeled chariot pulled by four horses side by side was to symbolize peace entering the city when erected.. In 1806 Napoleon took home this chariot which was brought back eight years later. During the division of Germany this gate could be visited neither by west Germans nor by those from East albeit it is situated in USSR sector. The gate symbolized symbol of Germán division but later it symbolized German unification!

Why and how the Berlin wall was erected..and brought down!
Right from the start, life in East Germany was less attractive compared to that in the west. Salaries were much less, so also freedom. As such a lot of Easterners moved to West Germany for work in spite of restrictions on visas.. During 1949-1961 more than 2.7 million East Germans esp the blue collared workers and professionals moved to west. While GDR proclaimed through propaganda that life in the west is only an illusion, the fact was something different. This I knew in person since one of my elderly neighbors who was very friendly towards me and my brother in 1965 or so was a member of some sort of a club linked to GDR  and USSR!He used to speak highly of USSR AND GDR those days but my brother used to hear VOA (Voice of America) broadcasts regularly and  get literature from USIS (United States Information Service) on regular basis and used to tell me that what our neighbor told us was false!

However as history unfolded for me, on the night of 13 August 1961 the East German authorities had stopped the movement by erecting a barbed wire fence through heart of Berlin which later changed to concrete structures for fortifications. Plus the entire border of East Germany was laid with 1 million landmines and 3000 attack dogs along with 302 watch towers with a ready to shoot at sight orders! Official explanation of East Germany was that this wall would prevent fascists of west Germany to infiltrate to East. But actually the only aim was to stop or control defections of East Germans to West which they were ashamed to admit!

On 12 June 1987 in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate US President Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbechev, leader of USSR to tear down the wall. Two years later on November 9 1989 the jubilant East Germans actually tore down the wall piece by piece as you can see in the photos above. On October
 3, 1990 East and West Germany was unified to be known as Germany officially! Communism was a good idea but proved to be Utopian!!Long live Freedom, Equality and Fraternity!!



  1. Very informative, Jaisonchettan. I know, you must be reading the comments from a place unknown to me.

  2. Very informative and beautifully narrated Dear Jaison.
    But I had to go through it with Heavy Heart and Tears in my eyes since You left All of Us and boarded The Flight to Eternity Last Week. Adios My Dear Friend Jaison Chako 🙏🌹🙏

  3. We miss you Jaison sir



Writing about the end of own life, that too after knowing that it could happen any time is hard to write for anyone. I am not an exception. ...