May 26, 2014 (Lemon Grove) -- When J. Elke Ertle heard John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in 1963, America suddenly became more real than ever. Ertle will relate the story of her flight to America from a "walled-in" existence domestically and politically on May 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lemon Grove Library, 3001 School Lane.
Ertle and her family lived in the harsh world of Berlin in the aftermath of World War II: the Berlin Blockade, the Berlin Airlift, the building of the Berlin Wall. Though she grew up in the relative freedom of West Berlin, the neighborhood was a tiny island of capitalism in a far bigger Communist sea. Separated from relatives and friends, who were trapped in East Germany, and as the only child of strict parents, by age 21 Ertle longed for freedom.
Her personal journey of liberation parallels that of her countrymen, who ultimately won freedom on Nov. 9, 1989 when authorities threw in the towel and permitted East and West Berliners to visit each other. Overjoyed, they began tearing down the wall, which was finally destroyed in 1990.
2014 is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. What better year in which to bring out a personal memoir of that event and the shattering events that preceded it? Following her discussion on May 28, Ertle will sign her book Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl's Journey to Freedom and take questions and answers.
The presentation is free and suitable for ages 14 and over. Be your own eye witness to history and join us for this compelling lecture.