Berlin Wall Monument at the Freedom Center Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Berlin Wall Monument at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Cincinnati's Berlin Wall Monument stands with the painted side facing the Freedom Center Building. The plain white side faces the Ohio River. Both the river and the Berlin Wall played important roles in the history of freedom.
Cincinnati's Berlin Wall Monument stands with the painted side facing the Freedom Center Building. The plain white side faces the Ohio River. Both the river and the Berlin Wall played important roles in the history of freedom.

The East Facing Side of the Wall Was Solid White

The plain white side of the Berlin Wall faced East Germany. White made it difficult to escape to the West as the color allowed escapees to stand out.
The plain white side of the Berlin Wall faced East Germany. White made it difficult to escape to the West as the color allowed escapees to stand out.

The Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati.

A Gift From Berlin To Cincinnati

A piece of the Berlin Wall arrived in Cincinnati a few weeks ago, a gift from the City of Berlin, Germany. Without knowing its history, one could look at the Wall and easily believe it was a simple remnant from an old demolished building. Nothing about it says monument. But most people do know the Berlin Wall's history. Even without its new pedestal, landscaped surroundings and glass covering, for many it stands as a monument to freedom.

A Celebration

It took two years and joint efforts of Mark Mallory, the Mayor of Cincinnati; Donald Murphy, Executive Director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; Munich, Cincinnati's Sister City; Richard Schade, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany and many others. Appropriately, they came together Independence Day weekend and invited the city to celebrate their joint accomplishment and dedicate the city's new memorial

Congressman Driehaus, Congresswoman Schmidt, Mayor Mallory and a host of other special guests spoke about freedom. A rabbi, priest and Muslim cleric delivered prayers and encouragement. Children from a local Donauschwaben Kindergruppe performed German Folk Dancing and Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Orchestra played Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."


Visit the Berlin Wall Monument in Cincinnati, Ohio

A marker50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio -
50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA
[get directions]

Cincinnati's Berlin Wall Monument is located at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, just beyond the banks of the Ohio River.

Donauschwaben Kindergruppe Dancers

Donauschwaben Kindergruppe Dancers Performed at the dedication.
Donauschwaben Kindergruppe Dancers Performed at the dedication.

Berlin U S Military Veterans

Berlin U S Military Veterans Were Special Guests at the Dedication
Berlin U S Military Veterans Were Special Guests at the Dedication

Religious Diversity

A Rabbi, Priest and Muslim Cleric offered prayers and encouragement.
A Rabbi, Priest and Muslim Cleric offered prayers and encouragement.

Monument Paving Stones

Paving Stones line the walkway surrounding the monument. One contains a brief history of the Wall in Germany. The rest contain a single word: Indifference, Distrust, Judgment, Ignorance, Prejudice, Control, Fear, Selfishness and Intolerance.
Paving Stones line the walkway surrounding the monument. One contains a brief history of the Wall in Germany. The rest contain a single word: Indifference, Distrust, Judgment, Ignorance, Prejudice, Control, Fear, Selfishness and Intolerance.

Did You See The Face?

t's part of the charm of this dynamic monument to freedom, that very few people see the face.

Gregory Reese, the son part of Mom & Son, just happened to be in the vicinity of the Freedom Center when the Wall arrived. He talked to the construction crew, took photographs of the Wall, the signs, the monument plans. He had the opportunity to examine Cincinnati's Berlin Wall Section up close before they covered it with protective glass..... and he didn't see the face. Neither did I....not at first.

A few days later when Gregory took his wife, Dawnyell, to see the Wall; she pointed it out right away. He returned to talk to a construction worker the next day. He'd worked with the wall for several days, yet he hadn't seen the face either, not until Greg showed him. Then he saw her. Once you know "the Redhead" is there, you can't miss her. She jumps right out at you.

The Redhead

At the Dedication on July 3, I couldn't help myself. "Do you see the Face?" I asked a reporter. He'd been there a while asking questions and taking notes. He didn't know what I was talking about until I pointed out the Redhead. Just for the fun of it, I asked the same question of several other people. "Nope. No face...," they answered; then, "Ohhhh... I see."

Richard Schade, the Honorary German Consul, had seen the Wall in Germany. He knew both the Wall and the woman very well. He talked about being happy to seeing her again, and spoke about "The Redhead" as though she were an old friend. Even so, a congresswoman who spoke later called the face 'beautiful graffiti' and talked about a bird of freedom. She still didn't see the face.

"Ode To Joy"

The Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Orchestra played "Ode to Joy." Leonard Bernstein performed The Beethoven work as "Ode to Freedom" in Berlin in 1989.
The Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Orchestra played "Ode to Joy." Leonard Bernstein performed The Beethoven work as "Ode to Freedom" in Berlin in 1989.

Berlin U S Military Veterans

Reporter, Cliff Radel, interviews one of the Berlin veterans.
Reporter, Cliff Radel, interviews one of the Berlin veterans.
Greg Reese talks with Richard Schade, Honorary German Consul.
Greg Reese talks with Richard Schade, Honorary German Consul.

So Where is the Other Half of The Face?

Once Gregory realized there was a half of a face on the Cincinnati Berlin Wall Monument, he decided there had to be a second half. But where is it. He wants to know.

Does anyone know if the other half of the Redhead even exists?

If it does exist, does anyone know where she is?

If you know please leave a message?

In the meantime, if you're in Cincinnati, stop by the Berlin Wall Monument, our city's great new symbol of freedom and a fantastic photo op.

More by this Author


Share Your "Ode to Joy" 5 comments

CarolRucker profile image

CarolRucker 2 years ago from Cincinnati Author

Thank you for your comments everyone, and thank you HonKonSchade for the information. Perhaps my son and I can get a photo one day


HonKonSchade 2 years ago

In answer to the question "Where is the other half of the Redhead's face ?" -- be informed that it is on the adjoining Berlin Wall segment in the graveyard-like depository of segments in Berlin.


john.jackson profile image

john.jackson 5 years ago from London, England

Great article. I've always been most interested in the cold war in history as it seems to contribute most to our modern society. I wrote a hub about the beginning of the Berlin Wall http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-did-Khrushchev-Build-t...


technorican profile image

technorican 6 years ago from Houston

Way cool! I just published a hub with lots of photos about German Reunification.


DixieMockingbird profile image

DixieMockingbird 6 years ago from East Tennessee

I'm certainly not the Redhead, but I love the idea...thanks for this great Hub!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working