Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mauerfall 20th Anniversary in Berlin!

What year was the last person to die trying to escape into West Berlin?

February 1989

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 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


planetgermany said...

It can't be ten years already... surely...where did the time go?

I went travelling in the former eastern block a couple of months after the wall came down... it was fascinating. So different from how it is today.

Carol said...

My twins were born exactly as the Wall was coming down, on 11/9/89 (in California)! I remember the radio being on in the delivery room! And they're the grandchildren of a German "mischling" (part Jew) who grew up in Karl Marx Stadt (now Chemnitz), which made the whole thing even more poignant! You just gave me an idea for their 20th birthday...


Yelli said...

@ Planetgermany - It has been 20 Years!!

That is cool that you were here. You should think about writing a post about that (if you haven't already)

@ Carol - WOW! Born on that day especially with your history??? That is more than symbolic... :) Thanks for sharing.