West Bank

Biggest wall of all is now a tourist attraction

Gazette subscriber Mike Whitaker recently made a special request.

“The border wall is a very controversial subject today,” he wrote. “Mr. Shatz always offers an interesting perspective and insight from a historical perspective. It would be good to know his thoughts.”

This is a subject I have thought about for some time. After all, six decades ago I escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia by breaching the Iron Curtain. While that wasn’t a wall, it consisted of deadly border barriers with the West.

Fascination with walls goes back to the Great Wall of China, the series of fortifications, made mostly of stone, built along the historical northern borders of China to protect...