Did You Know There’s a Big Piece of Russian History in Maine?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shaken the entire world. A lot of the dynamic that has lead to the current crisis goes back to the old USSR days of Russia, and the many countries that it controlled.
A bit piece of that old Soviet and Russian history is right here in Portland. A giant slab of the Berlin Wall!
Yup, right on Long Wharf close to Dimillo's Floating Restaurant rests a 6 by 10-foot piece of the Berlin Wall. For a little history, the Berlin Wall was a giant concrete barrier that divided Berlin between 1961 and 1989. It was almost 90 miles long and was built to prevent people from leaving East Berlin. The Wall symbolized the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Democracy from Communism. The Cold War's epicenter was at the Berlin Wall. Hundreds of people were shot and killed trying to get over the wall. When East Germany started to allow citizens to finally cross into West Germany, the hammers and picks came out and the wall was torn down.
Why Is There A Piece of The Berlin Wall in Portland, Maine?
After the wall came down in 1989, Germany gave out pieces of the wall to American cities as a thank you for helping them in their quest for freedom. There are a bunch of cities where you can see pieces of the wall. The slab of the wall in Portland was bought by the Dimillo family in the 1990s and installed near their fabulous restaurant. How lucky for us to have one in the Old Port! One of the slabs reads:
The Berlin Wall-Forget not the tyranny of this wall horrid place. Nor the love of freedom that made it fall-Laid Waste
This is the real deal. Check out the Soviet hammer and sickle logo on the piece of the wall.
Berlin might be 3,686 miles away from Portland, but when you stand in front of this wall, you can feel the sense of history. And it's incredible that the wall has now been down much longer than it was up!
Find the Berlin Wall slab on Portland's Long Wharf:
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