World events WORLD EVENTS

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Back in November 1989, I remember being delighted when the John Craven's Newsround showed the first images of East and West German citizens joining forces to tear down the infamous Berlin Wall. Of course, as a twelve year old child at that time, I had no real idea what the Berlin Wall was, why it was there, and why it was being torn down now but everyone else seemed to be excited about it so I just joined in the celebration!

It wasn’t until quite a few years later that I learned that the Berlin Wall had been erected in 1961 as a way to completely separate the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), from the reputedly fascist elements of West Germany. However, in reality, the wall actually served to prevent the mass emigration and defection that saw over 3.5 million East Germans flee into West Berlin during the post Wolrd War II period.

The enormous concrete Berlin Wall was 96 miles long in total and was heavily guarded with over three hundred watch towers and bunkers. Along with the much longer Inner German Border, the wall came to symbolise the “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

As a direct result of Mikhail Gorbachev's dual program of Perestroika and Glasnost (meaning Restructuring and Openness), a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc with dramatic consequences. In 1989, following several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government made an announcement that all GDR citizens were now free to visit West Germany.

Crowds of ecstatic East Germans congregated at the wall as some climbed on top joined by West Germans from the other side. Members of the public began to demolish the wall with hammers eventually breaking through to the other side and eventually people moved freely across the border. The governments later removed most of the rest of the wall and within the space of a year, German reunification was formally concluded on the 3rd October 1990. Shortly afterwards, in 1991, the Cold War was finally concluded.


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The Fall of the Berlin Wall Last post by darren
09 February 2012

Do You Remember Fall of the Berlin Wall?

Do You Remember Fall of the Berlin Wall?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    Not a lot of people realise that the last leader of the USSR was actually Boris Yeltsin and not Gorby- Gorbachev resigned on Christmas Day '91 (OUR Christmas day that is, not the Russian one) but the Soviet Union wasn't wound up until the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, meaning that Yeltsin was in power for the last week of it's existence. The fall of the Berlin Wall revealed the one good thing that East Germany gave us- the adorable little Trabant car! Available in either 600 or 800cc versions, they were voted Car Of The Year 1989 and there are still quite a lot of them about in Germany, with a devoted following and a fiercely loyal Owner's Club.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I remember the fall of the Berlin Wall well. In 1989 my family were on holiday in Hungary. It wasn't so much of a tourist orientated country as it is now, but in '89 12 million Germans came to Hungary. The reason was that East Germans and West Germans got together to organise the downfall of Communism that blighted Eastern Europe.Hungary was chosen as it was the least Communist (some would say), and huge queues built up at all the west borders surrounding Hungary.Families who had been separated by an illegal costruction, namely the Berlin Wall, met for the first time in years or even for the first time ever!The Berlin Wall was patrolled by British, Russian and American military but it didn't stop the peoples of both countries writing grafitti all over it. The famous Checkpoint Charlie was located near to the Brandenberg Gate.Berlin has now become the capital of Germany and East and West Germany does not exist as two separate countries.I was given a piece of the Berlin Wall by my Cousin.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    If Communism blighted EASTERN Europe, then Capitalism sure as hell blights the Western half!!
  • Yellow Watson
    on
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zXiClnK8oE That's all I remember sadly.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I'd not longed passed my driving test and was driving around Gynn Sq in Blackpool when I heard the news