What year was the last person to die trying to escape into West Berlin?
It seems hard to believe that this happened in my lifetime and Berlin was still a city divided.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall Collapse and a reunified Germany. If you are looking for somewhere to travel this year, Berlin might be a great idea.
Beginning in May, an open-air exhibit on Alexanderplatz, a major square in what was East Berlin, will recall the peaceful protests throughout East Germany that helped undermine the communist government in 1989.
The highlight of the year will be a weekend of celebrations and a huge series of domino stones, set to topple on November 9, symbolically marking the sequence of events that brought an end to communism.
You can find all events listed here.
The real reason behind the Wall falling was somewhat of an accident (which I first heard about from my friends in Belgium). In 1989, there were massive protests against the East German government. The head official finally resigned in Oct. 1989. There were talks about reopening the borders and when the new East German official was pressed by a reporter when it would reopen, he responded by saying, "Well, as far as I can see, ... straightaway, immediately." I don't think he gave the consequences much thought.
On November 9th, 1989 thousands of people flooded the streets to demand to cross the wall. It was torn down and somehow David Hasselhof ended up performing there.
The rest we say...is history...
Some more website links if you are interested in learning more about this historical event.
Chronik der Wende - Chronical about the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The Cold War - CNN Interactive's COLD WAR Web site
Ten Years after -The Fall of Communism - Radio Free Europe
Fall of Berlin Wall - The Russia Journal