KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a 24-year-old Army MP in 1989, Bruce Fischbach still vividly recalls the day he witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“My dad called, and he goes, ‘You know what’s going on over there?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m working my butt off,'” Fischbach told FOX4. “And he goes, ‘No, you’re part of history.'”
Fischbach pushed for his assignment with the “Berlin Brigade,” and he found himself at the center of a drama that would change the course of history on Nov. 9, 1989.
“It was like, oh my God, this is happening,” he said.
The Berlin Wall went up in 1961, separating the Soviet Union from the free world.
Fischbach recalls the Iron Curtain was beginning to crumble during his daily patrols 30 years ago this fall. But no one was prepared for how quickly the events unfolded, when the wall truly came down.
“There was a construction worker there fixing a piece of the wall, then they just knocked it down,” Fischbach said. “And the next thing you know, it’s just hordes coming over, and that’s about the time I got the call: ‘The Berlin Wall’s coming down. You’ve got to come in to work!’”
Fischbach still has several documents and artifacts from his time in Berlin. He recalls he and his cohorts swapped American items for Russian trinkets with the Soviet soldiers he once viewed as mortal enemies.
“A Madonna tape would get you a lot of stuff,” Fischbach said. “I know guys at the time that would give them a Madonna cassette tape, and they’d get full hats and stuff like that.”
Looking back at his time at the center of the action, when world history pivoted dramatically, Fischbach said the experience has shaped how he views life.
“I’m a firm believer in: Live every day for today because you just never know what’s going to happen. That’s just the way I am, you know?”