A typical part of the Berlin Wall, including a guard tower and “death strip.”
“Destroy the wall.” The wall had already been crumbling from within as more and more people from East Berlin and the former East Bloc fled to the West through neighboring countries and past the Iron Curtain.
In West Berlin the Brandenburg Gate could only be seen from the back.
I went to see the wall in West Berlin with a few friends in 1986 – three years before it came down. It was built in 1961 by the East German Government to keep their residents in East Germany because people were defecting to the West. Much of the Wall was constructed with barbed wire, landmines and other ways to secure it and actively guarded 24/7. The East German government claimed it was built to ‘protect’ its citizens from the fascistic neighbor.
When it came down on November 9, 1989, I couldn’t believe it. It just shows you that things can and will change – eventually. The politicians may get the credit for bringing the wall down, but it was the people that were locked in that wore it down over the years with protest and steadfast resolve.
Happy 25th Fall of the Wall Anniversary, Germany!
For an interesting viewpoint on what exactly ended the Cold War and brought down the Wall, including an examination of four contradictory explanations from the U.S., China, Europe and Russia, read here.