August, 1961. First the barbed wire went up surrounding West Berlin, separating those in the Russian sector, and East Germany, from those in the French, British and U.S. sectors, an island of non-communist rule in a sea of communists.
The famous wall of concrete, steel and barbed wire would be built soon. Germans living in Berlin were sometimes trapped by arbitrary lines on a map, lines that meant the difference between freedom and a communist dictatorship.
Why am I thinking of this now? This photo, from the U.S. Information Agency, in the files of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The photo tells a sad story, that should never be repeated.
The guard, a “Vopo,” looked the other way. And that made all the difference in that child’s life.
Why does this image call out to me now, as if from the voice of that child, pleading for help? Does it call to you, too?