Nineteenth-century History

Fall of the Wall

The Berlin Wall by the Brandenburger Tor.

The Berlin Wall by the Brandenburger Tor.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably noticed by now that today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was on this day, November 9th, in 1989 that the Wall was breached and East Germans finally allowed into West Germany.

This was the result of a long, complicated process by which the Soviet Union and other communist states in Eastern Europe slowly collapsed throughout the 1980s. Originally, the East German government only wanted to reform — like its Soviet counterparts — by offering its citizens more freedom. Part of this freedom was the ability to move between the two Germanys. Once the Wall was breached, however, the reunification of Germany became possible and even became a part of official policy. After almost a year of negotiations, Germany officially became one country again on October 3, 1990.

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