In 1981, during The River tour, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt ventured through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin, where the oppression was thick in the atmosphere. This visit changed Van Zandt from a man who once preached that rock and politics never mix, into a firebrand of justice.
Bruce said this in his bio, Born to Run:
“The power of the wall that split the world in two, its blunt, ugly mesmerizing realness, couldn’t be underestimated. It was an offense to humanity: there was something pornographic about it, and once viewed, it held a scent you couldn’t quite get off of you.”
Going up, 1961…
.…and coming down, 1989
The Berlin Wall went up in August 1961. It began to fall in November 1989. 28 years. I’ve lived almost twice that long. That’s how much walls are worth.
The Berlin Wall was 140 km (87 miles) long. Despite this, over 5,000 people successfully defected to the West by a variety of means.
The U.S, border with Mexico is 1,954 miles long. Think about that.