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TITLE
Donald Maclean talks about the Berlin Wall (2 of 3)
EXTERNAL ID
CLI_Z_DONALD_MACLEAN_02
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Donald Maclean
SOURCE
Clì Gàidhlig
ASSET ID
1520
KEYWORDS
audio
World War 2
World War II
Second World War
2nd World War
wars

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In this audio extract Donald Maclean talks about his experiences of the Berlin Wall.

'Uill, bha na Gearmailtich fhèin glè, gu math, feargach mu na bha a' tachairt bhon a bha mòran dhiubh aig an robh teaghlach san taobh an Ear. Agus, a-nis, bha 'ad air a sgàradh: bha pàrantan nach b' urrainn clann aca fhaicinn. Bha seanmhairean is seanairean; cha robh cothrom aca a-nis a' dol a choimhead air na h-oghaichean aca. Feadhainn a bha a' fuireach ann an taobh an Ear agus a b' àbhaist a bhith ag obair san taobh an Iar, chaill iadsan an obair aca agus dìreach cha robh cothrom a dhol air ais 's air adhart, mar a b' àbhaist, eadar an dà thaobh. Agus, mar sin, bha an àite glè fheargach.

Agus, rud eile a chur cùisean na bu mhiosa: an dèidh sin, bha mòran a' feuchainn ri fhaighinn air falbh bhon taobh an Ear agus bhiodh na saighdearan an sin a' losgadh orra 's chaill mòran am beatha feuchainn ri teicheadh a-mach às an taobh an Ear.

Tha cuimhn' agam fhìn, aon uair, bha mi ann am bothan beag dìreach faisg air an rathad a' Ghearmailt an Iar, agus bha mi ann am...'s e bothan poilis a bh' ann a sin: bha poileas saighdearan - 's e poileas an Airm a bh' ann - agus bha mi aon latha an sin a' bruidhinn ri fear agus chuala sinn neacheigin a' losgadh - fuaim peilear. Agus, chaidh sinn, cho luath 's a b' urrainn, sìos air an làr. Agus, an dèidh mionaid no dhà, dh' èirigh sinn agus thug sinn sùil a-mach air an uinneag, agus chunnaic sinn saighdear na laighe - 's e sin saighdear bho rud ris an canadh na Gearmailtich 'Grenz Polizei': 's e sin saighdearan a bha a' dìon crìochan. Bhiodh 'ad an-còmhnaidh dithis còmhla, agus chunnaic sinn aon de na saighdearan na laighe air an talamh agus saighdear eile, faisg air, le gunna. Nis, bha e soilleir gu leòr gun do loisg aon saighdear air an saighdear eile, gu robh saighdear a bha na laighe air an làr, gu robh e a' feuchainn ri teicheadh dhan an taobh againne. Agus, chunnaic sinn e, bha e feuchainn ri èirigh, ach thuit e air ais 's chan eil fhios agam an robh e marbh no an robh e air a' dhroch leònadh, ach, an dèidh dhà no trì mionaidean, thàinig làraidh bho taobh an Ear far an robh na saighdearan, 's thog 'ad e bhon talamh is chuir 'ad a-steach air cùl an làraidh e, agus dh' fhalbh 'ad leis. Agus, 's e sin an aon neach a chunnaic mise air an robh - air a bha mi 'n dùil - a chaidh e marbhadh, le mo shùilean fhìn. Ach, bha mòran eile, agus thachair sin dhaibhsan, a' feuchainn ri teicheadh air falbh aig an àm.'

The English translates as:

'The Germans themselves were very, pretty angry about what was happening because a lot of them had family on the East side. And now they were separated: there were parents who couldn't see their children. There were grandmothers and grandfathers. They had no chance now to go and see their grandchildren. Some who were living on the East side and who used to work on the West side, they lost their jobs and there was just no chance of going back and forth as they used to, between the two sides. And so, it was a very angry place.

And, something else that made matters worse after that: lots of folk were trying to get away from the East side and the soldiers there would fire on them and many lost their lives trying to escape out of, from the East..

I myself remember, one time, I was in a little hut just near the road to, to West Germany and I was in a, it was a police hut: there were policemen, soldiers - they were Military Police - and that's where I was one day speaking to a man and we heard someone shooting - the noise of a bullet. And we just, we moved as fast as we could, down on the floor. And after a minute or two we took a, we got up and took a look out of the window, and we saw a soldier lying there - this was a soldier from something the Germans called 'Grenz Polizei': these were soldiers who were protecting the border. There would always be two of them together, and we saw one of the soldiers lying on the ground and another soldier, near him, with a gun.

Now, it was plain enough that one soldier had shot the other, that the soldier who was lying on the floor had been trying to escape to our side. And we saw him: he was trying to get up but he fell back, and I don't know if he was dead or badly wounded, but in a, after two or three minutes, a lorry came from, the East side where the soldiers were, and they lifted him from the ground and put him inside the back of the lorry and left with him. But, and that was the one person I saw, with my own eyes, who had, who I expect, was killed. But, there were plenty more, and it happened to them, trying to escape at the time.'

The extract is from 'Mas math mo chuimhne' (Reflection of the Gaels), published in 2010. This oral history project was led by Clì Gàidhlig - The Gaelic Learners' Association - and involved the recording of stories from native Gaelic speakers which may otherwise have remained unknown to the general public. The key aims were to: document living history and the richness of the language through the memories of volunteer native speakers; help combat the feelings of isolation experienced by some older fluent speakers by acknowledging and recognising the value of their local and linguistic heritage; involve and train adult learners of Gaelic to conduct the interviews; and enhance learners' access to varied vocabulary and idiomatic expression over the project period.

The book, published in Gaelic and English, has an accompanying CD which features a range of people talking informally in Gaelic about their lives and work. It was produced by Kenneth Lindsay and edited by Morag MacNeill. (You can purchase the book by following the link below.)

Clì Gàidhlig would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their financial help with the project.

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Donald Maclean talks about the Berlin Wall (2 of 3)

2000s

audio; World War 2; World War II; Second World War; 2nd World War; wars;

Clì Gàidhlig

Mas Math Mo Chuimhne (Reflection of the Gaels)

In this audio extract Donald Maclean talks about his experiences of the Berlin Wall.<br /> <br /> 'Uill, bha na Gearmailtich fhèin glè, gu math, feargach mu na bha a' tachairt bhon a bha mòran dhiubh aig an robh teaghlach san taobh an Ear. Agus, a-nis, bha 'ad air a sgàradh: bha pàrantan nach b' urrainn clann aca fhaicinn. Bha seanmhairean is seanairean; cha robh cothrom aca a-nis a' dol a choimhead air na h-oghaichean aca. Feadhainn a bha a' fuireach ann an taobh an Ear agus a b' àbhaist a bhith ag obair san taobh an Iar, chaill iadsan an obair aca agus dìreach cha robh cothrom a dhol air ais 's air adhart, mar a b' àbhaist, eadar an dà thaobh. Agus, mar sin, bha an àite glè fheargach.<br /> <br /> Agus, rud eile a chur cùisean na bu mhiosa: an dèidh sin, bha mòran a' feuchainn ri fhaighinn air falbh bhon taobh an Ear agus bhiodh na saighdearan an sin a' losgadh orra 's chaill mòran am beatha feuchainn ri teicheadh a-mach às an taobh an Ear.<br /> <br /> Tha cuimhn' agam fhìn, aon uair, bha mi ann am bothan beag dìreach faisg air an rathad a' Ghearmailt an Iar, agus bha mi ann am...'s e bothan poilis a bh' ann a sin: bha poileas saighdearan - 's e poileas an Airm a bh' ann - agus bha mi aon latha an sin a' bruidhinn ri fear agus chuala sinn neacheigin a' losgadh - fuaim peilear. Agus, chaidh sinn, cho luath 's a b' urrainn, sìos air an làr. Agus, an dèidh mionaid no dhà, dh' èirigh sinn agus thug sinn sùil a-mach air an uinneag, agus chunnaic sinn saighdear na laighe - 's e sin saighdear bho rud ris an canadh na Gearmailtich 'Grenz Polizei': 's e sin saighdearan a bha a' dìon crìochan. Bhiodh 'ad an-còmhnaidh dithis còmhla, agus chunnaic sinn aon de na saighdearan na laighe air an talamh agus saighdear eile, faisg air, le gunna. Nis, bha e soilleir gu leòr gun do loisg aon saighdear air an saighdear eile, gu robh saighdear a bha na laighe air an làr, gu robh e a' feuchainn ri teicheadh dhan an taobh againne. Agus, chunnaic sinn e, bha e feuchainn ri èirigh, ach thuit e air ais 's chan eil fhios agam an robh e marbh no an robh e air a' dhroch leònadh, ach, an dèidh dhà no trì mionaidean, thàinig làraidh bho taobh an Ear far an robh na saighdearan, 's thog 'ad e bhon talamh is chuir 'ad a-steach air cùl an làraidh e, agus dh' fhalbh 'ad leis. Agus, 's e sin an aon neach a chunnaic mise air an robh - air a bha mi 'n dùil - a chaidh e marbhadh, le mo shùilean fhìn. Ach, bha mòran eile, agus thachair sin dhaibhsan, a' feuchainn ri teicheadh air falbh aig an àm.'<br /> <br /> The English translates as:<br /> <br /> 'The Germans themselves were very, pretty angry about what was happening because a lot of them had family on the East side. And now they were separated: there were parents who couldn't see their children. There were grandmothers and grandfathers. They had no chance now to go and see their grandchildren. Some who were living on the East side and who used to work on the West side, they lost their jobs and there was just no chance of going back and forth as they used to, between the two sides. And so, it was a very angry place.<br /> <br /> And, something else that made matters worse after that: lots of folk were trying to get away from the East side and the soldiers there would fire on them and many lost their lives trying to escape out of, from the East..<br /> <br /> I myself remember, one time, I was in a little hut just near the road to, to West Germany and I was in a, it was a police hut: there were policemen, soldiers - they were Military Police - and that's where I was one day speaking to a man and we heard someone shooting - the noise of a bullet. And we just, we moved as fast as we could, down on the floor. And after a minute or two we took a, we got up and took a look out of the window, and we saw a soldier lying there - this was a soldier from something the Germans called 'Grenz Polizei': these were soldiers who were protecting the border. There would always be two of them together, and we saw one of the soldiers lying on the ground and another soldier, near him, with a gun.<br /> <br /> Now, it was plain enough that one soldier had shot the other, that the soldier who was lying on the floor had been trying to escape to our side. And we saw him: he was trying to get up but he fell back, and I don't know if he was dead or badly wounded, but in a, after two or three minutes, a lorry came from, the East side where the soldiers were, and they lifted him from the ground and put him inside the back of the lorry and left with him. But, and that was the one person I saw, with my own eyes, who had, who I expect, was killed. But, there were plenty more, and it happened to them, trying to escape at the time.'<br /> <br /> The extract is from 'Mas math mo chuimhne' (Reflection of the Gaels), published in 2010. This oral history project was led by Clì Gàidhlig - The Gaelic Learners' Association - and involved the recording of stories from native Gaelic speakers which may otherwise have remained unknown to the general public. The key aims were to: document living history and the richness of the language through the memories of volunteer native speakers; help combat the feelings of isolation experienced by some older fluent speakers by acknowledging and recognising the value of their local and linguistic heritage; involve and train adult learners of Gaelic to conduct the interviews; and enhance learners' access to varied vocabulary and idiomatic expression over the project period.<br /> <br /> The book, published in Gaelic and English, has an accompanying CD which features a range of people talking informally in Gaelic about their lives and work. It was produced by Kenneth Lindsay and edited by Morag MacNeill. (You can purchase the book by following the link below.)<br /> <br /> Clì Gàidhlig would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their financial help with the project.