November 9 marks the 30thanniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. And one famous chocolatier is creating a replica of that historic barrier. Patrick Roger is promoting his art to send a message of unity about a city that was once divided. “I thought it was a good idea to speak about it, about the reunification,” he says.
The real Berlin Wall was erected as free and communist nations clashed in a war without bullets. This Cold Warlasted almost three decades. In 1961, East Germany began building barriers dividing the city of Berlin. Its barbed wire, bricked up doors and windows, and tall, concreteslabs were meant to prevent citizens from fleeing from the communismof East Berlin to the freedomof West Berlin.
The Berlin wall became a symbol of the Cold War at a time when an Iron Curtaindivided Europe and the world. Over the years, this ugly gray wall became surprisingly colorful as it collected painted slogans, protest messages, and graffiti.
Roger’s project requires one ton of the finest chocolate, shipped all the way from Madagascar. His assistants mix colors into chocolate as they recreate the Berlin Wall’s lively surface with splashes, drips, and smears.
In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan stood in Berlin and demanded, “Tear down this wall!” Just two years later, the wall did indeed fall, and along with it fell communist governments.
Christians understand the idea of a wall—a wall of sin. Isaiah 59:2 says, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and God.”In the design of theOld Testament temple, God instructed His people to place a thick curtain. It acted as a wall to separatesinful people from the most holy space—until Jesus came. When Jesus took sins to the cross, that curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom. It meant that those who believe in Jesus were no longer separated from God.
Huge sections of the Berlin Wall now stand in city centers and museums. It must have taken quite an effort to haul those massive slabs of concrete. Patrick Roger faceda similar challenge. He had to transport sections of his wall to his seven chocolate shops in Paris.
Saturday night, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Roger will knock down his chocolate wall. The public will be invited to pick up the pieces.
The next time you hear about the history of the Berlin wall, remember the wall that Jesus pulled down. Galations 5:1 says, “Christ has set us free.”
(French chocolate maker Patrick Roger's creative assistant Angelo Dao adds white chocolate to a dark chocolate reproduction of the Berlin wall. AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)