The memorial of the truck that broke the walls

8 months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an attempt to break the walls also happened in isolated Albania. Young people from Tirana were the first to understand the need for change in Albania, too, and for removing the walls.

One brave Albanian Ylli Bodinaku, entered the German Embassy with his truck. With his wife and two children, one of them just two months old, he headed the truck into the back giant wall of the German Embassy on 2d of July 1990. The wall was destroyed and even though the stones were scattered everywhere, even inside the car, he managed to enter his family safely inside. His truck created a gate for 36 persons who entered that way in the German Embassy, and more than 3000 others followed his example to jump into other embassies in the same area. Former German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher called Mr Bodinaku a hero at that time.

The regime acted strongly by fortifying the zone around the embassies, not letting even the families of the people inside meet each other. The regime named these people vandals and started propaganda in the country against this movement. Some parents denied their children in order to be safe in the regime. While the West decided to issue passports to all the people who managed to enter inside. After 10 days, all people entering embassies through crossing walls headed safely to their respective countries. The regime enforced security in all borders and embassies, but the real revolution started only some months later, in December 1990, with the revolt of Students, who threw down the Statue of Enver Hoxha in the center of Tirana. Then, the democratic changes followed with the creation of a bipolar party system and the first democratic elections.

Mr. Ylli Bodinaku has told his story several times for the media. But there were no memorials or statues to remember his act until now.

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