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In June the Hungarian government began dismantling the electrified fence along its border with Austria with Western TV crews present , and then, in September, more than 13, East German tourists escaped through Hungary to Austria. The Hungarians prevented many more East Germans from crossing the border and returned them to Budapest.

The East German government responded by disallowing any further travel to Hungary, but allowed those already there to return to East Germany. This time, however, the East German authorities allowed people to leave, provided that they did so by train through East Germany. This was followed by mass demonstrations within East Germany itself. Protest demonstrations spread throughout East Germany in September Initially, protesters were mostly people wanting to leave to the West, chanting "Wir wollen raus! Then protestors began to chant "Wir bleiben hier!

This was the start of what East Germans generally call the " Peaceful Revolution " of late The movement neared its height on 4 November, when half a million people gathered to demand political change, at the Alexanderplatz demonstration , East Berlin's large public square and transportation hub. Honecker had predicted in January of that year that the Wall would stand for 50 or more years [] [ dead link ] if the conditions that had caused its construction did not change. The wave of refugees leaving East Germany for the West kept increasing. This was tolerated by the new Krenz government, because of long-standing agreements with the communist Czechoslovak government, allowing free travel across their common border.

However this movement of people grew so large it caused difficulties for both countries. To ease the difficulties, the politburo led by Krenz decided on 9 November to allow refugees to exit directly through crossing points between East Germany and West Germany, including between East and West Berlin. Later the same day, the ministerial administration modified the proposal to include private, round-trip, travel. The new regulations were to take effect the next day.

However, he had not been involved in the discussions about the new regulations and had not been fully updated. These regulations had only been completed a few hours earlier and were to take effect the following day, so as to allow time to inform the border guards. But this starting time delay was not communicated to Schabowski.

At the end of the press conference, Schabowski read out loud the note he had been given. After a few seconds' hesitation, Schabowski assumed it would be the same day based on the wording of the note and replied, "As far as I know, it takes effect immediately, without delay". Excerpts from Schabowski's press conference were the lead story on West Germany's two main news programs that night—at 7: As ARD and ZDF had broadcast to nearly all of East Germany since the late s and had become accepted by the East German authorities, the news was broadcast there as well simultaneously.

The GDR has announced that, starting immediately, its borders are open to everyone.


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The gates in the Wall stand open wide. After hearing the broadcast, East Germans began gathering at the Wall, at the six checkpoints between East and West Berlin, demanding that border guards immediately open the gates. At first, they were ordered to find the "more aggressive" people gathered at the gates and stamp their passports with a special stamp that barred them from returning to East Germany—in effect, revoking their citizenship.

However, this still left thousands of people demanding to be let through "as Schabowski said we can". It soon became clear that no one among the East German authorities would take personal responsibility for issuing orders to use lethal force, so the vastly outnumbered soldiers had no way to hold back the huge crowd of East German citizens.

Soon afterward, a crowd of West Berliners jumped on top of the Wall, and were soon joined by East German youngsters. Walking through Checkpoint Charlie , 10 November At the Brandenburg Gate , 10 November Another border crossing to the south may have been opened earlier. The fall of the Berlin Wall German: Mauerfall began the evening of 9 November and continued over the following days and weeks, with people nicknamed Mauerspechte wall woodpeckers using various tools to chip off souvenirs, demolishing lengthy parts in the process, and creating several unofficial border crossings.

Crowds gathered on both sides of the historic crossings waiting for hours to cheer the bulldozers that tore down portions of the Wall to reconnect the divided roads. While the Wall officially remained guarded at a decreasing intensity, new border crossings continued for some time, including the Brandenburg Gate on 22 December Initially the East German military attempted repairing damage done by the "Wall peckers"; gradually these attempts ceased, and guards became more lax, tolerating the increasing demolitions and "unauthorized" border crossing through the holes.

West Germans and West Berliners were allowed visa-free travel starting 23 December. Thus, in the weeks between 9 November and 23 December, East Germans could actually travel more freely than Westerners. According to estimates by the border troops, a total of around 1. These were equipped with trucks, 65 cranes, 55 excavators and 13 bulldozers. Virtually every road that was severed by the Berlin Wall, every road that once linked from West Berlin to East Berlin, was reconstructed and reopened by 1 August What remained were six sections that were to be preserved as a memorial.

Painted wall segments with artistically valuable motifs were put up for auction in in Berlin and Monte Carlo. On 1 July, the day East Germany adopted the West German currency, all de jure border controls ceased, although the inter-German border had become meaningless for some time before that. The fall of the Wall marked the first critical step towards German reunification , which formally concluded a mere days later on 3 October with the dissolution of East Germany and the official reunification of the German state along the democratic lines of the West German Basic Law.

An East German guard talks to a Westerner through a broken seam in the wall in late November A crane removes a section of the Wall near Brandenburg Gate on 21 December In some European capitals at the time, there was a deep anxiety over prospects for a reunified Germany. This would lead to a change to postwar borders and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security," Thatcher told Gorbachev.

On 25 December , Leonard Bernstein gave a concert in Berlin celebrating the end of the Wall, including Beethoven's 9th symphony Ode to Joy with the word "Joy" Freude changed to "Freedom" Freiheit in the lyrics sung. The poet Schiller may have originally written "Freedom" and changed it to "Joy" out of fear.

Over the years, there has been a repeated controversial debate [] as to whether 9 November would make a suitable German national holiday, often initiated by former members of political opposition in East Germany, such as Werner Schulz. However, 9 November is also the anniversary of the execution of Robert Blum in following the Vienna revolts , the Beer Hall Putsch and the infamous Kristallnacht pogroms of the Nazis in Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel criticized the first euphoria, noting that "they forgot that 9 November has already entered into history—51 years earlier it marked the Kristallnacht.

On 9 November , Berlin celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall with a "Festival of Freedom" with dignitaries from around the world in attendance for an evening celebration around the Brandenburg Gate. A high point was when over 1, colourfully designed foam domino tiles, each over 8 feet 2.

Leipzig - Wikipedia

A Berlin Twitter Wall was set up to allow Twitter users to post messages commemorating the 20th anniversary. The Chinese government quickly shut down access to the Twitter Wall after masses of Chinese users began using it to protest the Great Firewall of China. In the United States, the German Embassy coordinated a public diplomacy campaign with the motto "Freedom Without Walls", to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The campaign was focused on promoting awareness of the fall of the Berlin Wall among current college students. Students at over 30 universities participated in "Freedom Without Walls" events in late An international project called Mauerreise Journey of the Wall took place in various countries. Twenty symbolic Wall bricks were sent from Berlin starting in May , with the destinations being Korea, Cyprus, Yemen, and other places where everyday life is characterised by division and border experience.

In these places, the bricks will become a blank canvas for artists, intellectuals and young people to tackle the "wall" phenomenon. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Twinity reconstructed a true-to-scale section of the Wall in virtual Berlin. Rides were raffled every half-hour and a Trabant crashed through a Berlin Wall mock up. The stamps splendidly illustrate that even twenty years on, veterans of service in Berlin still regard their service there as one of the high points of their lives.

Remains of the Wall adjacent to the Topography of Terror , August A memorial of over a thousand crosses and a segment of the Wall for those who died trying to cross. The memorial stood for ten months in and before it was removed. Czech hedgehog antitank obstacles and the Wall.

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An exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary to the Berlin Wall destruction was located at Potsdamer Platz Arkaden. Line indicating where the Wall once stood, just off Potsdamer Platz , in Little is left of the Wall at its original site, which was destroyed almost in its entirety.

Three long sections are still standing: Other isolated fragments, lampposts, other elements, and a few watchtowers also remain in various parts of the city. Fragments of the Wall were taken and some were sold around the world. Appearing both with and without certificates of authenticity , these fragments are now a staple on the online auction service eBay as well as German souvenir shops. Today, the eastern side is covered in graffiti that did not exist while the Wall was guarded by the armed soldiers of East Germany. Previously, graffiti appeared only on the western side.

Along some tourist areas of the city centre, the city government has marked the location of the former Wall by a row of cobblestones in the street. In most places only the "first" wall is marked, except near Potsdamer Platz where the stretch of both walls is marked, giving visitors an impression of the dimension of the barrier system. After the fall of Berlin Wall, there were initiatives that they want to preserve the death strip walkways and redevelop it into a hiking and cycling area, known as Berliner Mauerweg.

It is part of the initiative by Berlin Senate since For many years after reunification, people in Germany talked about cultural differences between East and West Germans colloquially Ossis and Wessis , sometimes described as Mauer im Kopf The wall in the head. A September poll found that 25 percent of West Germans and 12 percent of East Germans wished that East and West should be separated again by a "Wall". Although differences are still perceived between East and West, Germans make similar distinctions between North and South. Ten percent of people surveyed thought Berlin residents built it themselves.

Six percent said Western powers built it and four percent thought it was a "bilateral initiative" of the Soviet Union and the West. Fifty-eight percent said they did not know who built it, with just 24 percent correctly naming the Soviet Union and its then-communist ally East Germany.

Not all segments of the Wall were ground up as the Wall was being torn down. Many segments have been given to various institutions in the world. They can be found, for instance, in presidential and historical museums, lobbies of hotels and corporations, at universities and government buildings, and in public spaces in different countries of the world.

Living in a Divided City: West-Berlin

Speeches extolled freedom and a minute of silence at noon honored those who died trying to flee to the West. Freedom is invincible at the end. No wall can permanently withstand the desire for freedom", proclaimed President Wulff. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


  • Photo Galleries (in German).
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  • For the video game, see The Berlin Wall video game. This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding or removing subheadings. View from the West Berlin side of graffiti art on the Wall in The Wall's "death strip", on the east side of the Wall, here follows the curve of the Luisenstadt Canal filled in Map of the location of the Berlin Wall, showing checkpoints.

    Border length around West Berlin: Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to People's Socialist Republic of Albania to Somali Democratic Republic to People's Republic of China to Forest Brothers in Lithuania in Latvia in Estonia. Eastern Bloc and Berlin Blockade. Eastern Bloc emigration and defection and Eastern Bloc.

    Inner German border and Eastern Bloc emigration and defection. This article may be confusing or unclear to readers. Please help us clarify the article. There might be a discussion about this on the talk page. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. List of deaths at the Berlin Wall. Ich bin ein Berliner and Tear down this wall! Ich bin ein Berliner I am a Berliner speech.

    Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

    Kennedy , 26 June Ich bin ein Berliner "I am a Berliner" speech audio. Germans stand on top of the Wall in the days before it was torn down. Almost all of the remaining sections were rapidly chipped away. West Germans peer at East German border guards through a hole in the wall on 5 January A sign reading "Until we see each other again in the capital of the GDR".

    List of Berlin Wall segments. Retrieved 1 November Retrieved 20 February Five things you might not know". Retrieved 22 May Retrieved 9 November August in German ". Retrieved 6 August Retrieved 26 January The Two Germanies Since Western Intelligence in Divided Germany — , p. Society, Economy and Politics in the Twentieth Century , p. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire. The Cambridge History of the Cold War. The Fall of the Soviet Empire. Archived from the original on 4 March Retrieved 23 January Archived from the original on 9 April Normales Leben in Berlin,14 August " in German.

    Archived from the original on 18 July The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall. Retrieved 26 September Escaping The Bonds of Earth: The Fifties and the Sixties. Archived from the original on 13 September History Channel , History of Berlin Wall: Archived from the original on 12 October Bloomsbury Publishing — via Google Books. Retrieved — via www.

    Daily Life behind the Iron Curtain. Retrieved 5 November Retrieved 12 August A newly discovered order is the firmest evidence yet that the communist regime gave explicit shoot-to-kill orders, says Germany's director of Stasi files. Chicago Tribune , Chicago, Ill.: Monument of the Cold War. A World Divided — , London: Retrieved 12 January Retrieved 11 January Thank you David Bowie for helping bring down the Berlin Wall".

    The Local — Germany's News in English. Hasselhoff Tore Down This Wall". Retrieved 19 February Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on 22 June Retrieved 9 February Retrieved 14 June Retrieved 9 April Deutsche Geschichte in Objekten. The little accident that toppled history" The Washington Post.

    Retrieved 2 November Retrieved 6 May Retrieved 14 October Retrieved 7 November Retrieved 19 June Retrieved 8 November Retrieved 2 July Retrieved 26 November Archived from the original on 25 June Retrieved 22 February Thierse fordert neuen Nationalfeiertag". Hu, tear down this firewall! The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 28 December Allied Museum, Berlin, Germany. Archived from the original on 17 July Retrieved 23 July Archived from the original on 13 June Retrieved 23 February Archived from the original on 14 December Retrieved 6 November Most Russians don't know Reuters".

    Retrieved 13 August Archived from the original on 25 January Archived from the original on 12 November Could We have Stopped It? Retrieved 26 March Archived from the original on 15 February Archived from the original on 24 September The Wall fell on July 18th Retrieved 13 March The Fall of the Berlin Wall. John Wiley and Sons. The Berlin Wall Crisis—". Popular Protest in East Germany, — Judgements on the Street.

    The Contemporary Assault on Freedom of Movement. Gaddis, John Lewis Harrison, Hope Millard Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, — Federal Centre for Political Education. Archived from the original on 29 April Retrieved 20 October Across the Face of Europe". Miller, Roger Gene To Save a City: Following allied bombing during WWII, the original west Tower has remained standing as a ruin and is hauntingly named the "hollow tooth" as it is literally an empty husk.

    Heavy war damages Built between in memory of Kaiser Wilhelm I, the first German Emperor , by Franz Schwechten in neo-romanesque style, it was damaged on December 23rd, and subsequently almost completely destroyed during the April air-raids. The Gedenkhalle Memorial Hall contains photographic exhibits of the Church and the surrounding area before and after the War. Other exhibits of interest are liturgical objects from bygone days and mosaics. New church building The Church remained heavily damaged until when the new building was built following Egon Eiermann's winning project for an adjacent modern church including an octagonal hall and a bell tower.

    This was erected between and and the nave had to be removed. The modern tower, which is not to everyone's liking, consists of an octagonal structure and a six-sided bell tower. Its peculiarity is blue shimmering light, which was achieved by leaving an inner cavity of 2 meters between the inner and outer walls with lamps which give-off a blue hue to the inside and outside of the structure.

    Over 20, panels of stained glass make up the walls of the modern Church, consecrated on May 25, - the same day as the new Coventry Cathedral in the UK, also a victim of WWII bombs.