November 9, 2014
25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
Seeking inspiration for this doodle we took a short bike ride from our Mountain View, California headquarters to our local public library to study an actual piece of the Berlin Wall.
This graffitied chunk of concrete, once a literal division, has been transformed into a symbol of unity, a reminder to passersby of the triumph of the collective human spirit. It was moving to see it in person and, appropriately enough, spray-painted on this special slab are the German words “Wir lieben dich” — “we love you”.
Determined to share this experience on the doodle and others like it around the world, we enlisted several folks and are grateful for their help. Our friends at veed.me arranged 17 international film crews to gather footage. The German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv) provided powerful archival photographs by Klaus Lehnartz and Heiko Specht to set context for the video. Googlers from around the world translated more than 50 international versions. Morgan Stiff edited it all together.
We’re especially indebted to Nils Frahm, who composed the video’s beautiful music. Nils grew up in Germany and had this reflection of the event:
I was 7 years old when thousands of East German signature cars arrived in my hometown Hamburg and filled the air with odd smelling blue smoke. I saw strangers hugging strangers, tears in their eyes, their voices tired from singing. I was too young to understand, but I felt that life was different now and that different was better. Now it is our obligation to tell this story to all those who couldn't be there, who could not feel the spark of the peaceful revolution themselves and more importantly who can't remember how existence feels when its incarcerated by concrete walls. It is time to celebrate 25 years of unity.
We couldn’t have said it better.
Ryan Germick & Liat Ben-Rafael, Google Doodle Team