I figured with today being June 17th - the anniversary of the East German uprising in 1953, and until 1990 the national holiday in West Germany - I'd share with you a treasure of Cold War history I had almost forgotten about until I was going through my mementos recently: a section of the old border fence between East and West Germany.
in summer 1991, I went to Thuringia in the former East Germany on a student exchange program between UCF and Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. One reason Jena was chosen was that most of the people there at that time didn't speak much English - the most common second language there was Russian, since the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was a communist state under Soviet influence up until 1990. Therefore we German language students wouldn't be able to fall back on English as easily as you could in the West, was the idea.
One day our professor and a few others drove out to the west of Thuringia where it borders Hessen and found a section of expanded metal fencing still standing, which had been part of the Innerdeutsche Grenze, or inner-German border between east and west. I wasn't able to make the trip myself for some reason, but Dr. Decker cut a piece for me. A piece of history from the Cold War.
A piece of the Iron Curtain.