Bergheim: "We did not want to believe that"

Schneider / Pose

Bergheim

At the press conference at which SED spokesperson Günter Schabowski presented the new travel regulations, the wall fell on 9 November at 19.00. Pose was then a soldier of the National People's Army and had been posted 24 hours a day in Berlin.

The air traffic control personnel of the East German Air Force still remembers today the news that the walls of the wall were pierced that night. "We did not want to believe that," he says. With the current language expressions expressed: "We thought it was a fake." The skepticism was there because, despite peaceful protests that had lasted for weeks and that he had perceived, "the opening of the borders was unimaginable for me". The same evening, on November 10, when the first turnstiles for the citizens of the GDR were raised at 11:29 pm on Bornholmer Street in Berlin, they could not reach the West. "You can not believe it", almost 40 years after the construction of the wall.

Everything was settled and it was not a false news, that was the reality: the "chassis" could become the "Wessis". When Pose, who lives with his family in Bergheim near Neuburg for almost 30 years, hears this distinction today, he shakes his head. "I do not like these terms, we are Germans, nothing else." But he could in the meantime understand both sides: when he visits the old homeland – and he still loves it – he always explains some things from a "Western" point of view, and vice versa , of course. But there is a bit of sadness there. "I miss a little humanity and solidarity," he says. The inhabitants of the former GDR constituted "a sworn community". Pose does not mean that negatively, but emphasizes the real cohesion in the villages.

Clippings and photos remind Peter Pose of his time as a soldier of the National People's Army. There he was MiG pilot.
Clippings and photos remind Peter Pose of his time as a soldier of the National People's Army. There he was MiG pilot.

Schneider / Pose

Bergheim

Despite the fact that he considers the RDA headed by the SED as a "state of injustice": "It was not that bad", he identified himself with the ## 147 ## 39; State. He has also made his party book SED, which was a prerequisite for serving in the People's Army, "as one of the first" after the fall of the Berlin Wall – just as he had long refused to join the party.

The native Vogtländer was declared fit in 1977 and learned to fly to the Society for Sport and Technology – aboard a Czechoslovak Zlín Z-42 aircraft. The "core business" was heard by the paramilitary organization before it was transferred to the Plauen National People's Army in 1979 – unaware that it would serve the enemy 20 years later, so to speak. After the captain's turn changed to the Bundeswehr – and was demoted there once the first lieutenant. He had to wait 23 years before retiring from active duty until he found his former rank. It was perhaps also a bit of his mind: "I've also had problems with my bosses." According to him, the player aged 60 has no secrets today. "Sometimes I already have one already seen," he says, including with regard to public opinion. "I do not think it'll be okay." The former soldier has a wish – especially for the Berlin government: "We should return to politics where we were right after the fall of power."

Pose had learned mechanical engineering in the GDR and had graduated from high school, went to the officer college in Bautzen and had a pilot training on a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21. Shortly before the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, he settles in his living room in Bergheim and flips through a photo and newspaper album that reminds him of the time. Black and white images of his flights and two newspaper clippings prove his work. With his wife Annelie and their two daughters, Pose moved to Bavaria in the early 1990s, but no longer as a driver. As such, he flew the MiG from Jagdfliegergeschwader 8 east of Berlin, where he was stationed.

Schneider / Pose

Bergheim

"Some time before the start of recovery," recalls Pose. Disarmament, so to speak. He had been declared unfit as a pilot and had to go to the "flight management group", that is air traffic control. As such, he later joined the German armed forces and took appropriate training courses, where he was to learn English, among other things, in the Neuburg Fighter Squadron, where he remained until 39 at his retirement. "I still have good contacts with the squadron today," he said. "I have been well received here and I know what I owe to my people."

One thing has always irritated him in his work on the Zell military base: "Fly once in the Eurofighter", but the pilot's time was over. But in a sense, he has not abandoned aviation as a hobby: he now passionately and professionally photographs machines in the air and on the ground – or even portraits, weddings. The marathons, which he completed between 1997 and 2004, he can no longer manage health today. He likes to listen to Heavy Metal ("That's my religion"). His first record, which he had bought at the time of the GDR at the barracks, is still in the closet: an AC / DC disc. These were special licensing presses. "You could not pay for records from the west," he recalls.

In addition, he did not buy anything during his first visit to West Berlin. But he always knows one thing: "It killed you." It had been a real "culture shock" to come from the east. "It was like coming to Las Vegas."

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