HomeThis week in historyThirty two years since the fall of the Berlin Wall

Thirty two years since the fall of the Berlin Wall

It has been 32 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall! On November 9th 1989 the Berlin Wall finally fell, after years of dividing East and West Germans.

The days before the wall fell saw thousands of people protesting on the East side. On November 4th, just days before the wall fell, it was estimated that up to one million people gathered in Alexanderplatz to demonstrate for political reform. The climate was rife for change. The disparity between the poverty in Eastern Germany and the affluence of Western Germany was apparent. Political changes in Eastern Europe put pressure on the government of East Germany to make changes.

Change came quickly

The changes weren’t meant to be as radical and dramatic. The government did not intend free travel between East and West Germany, but instead an exit visa that would allow people to apply to leave. However, on the day the Berlin wall fell the Western media reported that the border had opened (inaccurately). This media report fueled a surge of people arriving at the wall from the West of Germany, desperate to see friends and family who were left behind. The guards at the wall were greatly outnumbered, and so gave way to the thousands who came to the wall for this momentous occasion. People chipped away at the wall with various tools, desperate to see this symbol of oppression collapse.  The collapse of the wall saw families and friends reunited in joyous scenes.

For a historical look at the Berlin Wall, from its roots to its final fall, click here for more information.

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