Fall of the Berlin Wall

9 November 1989

Fall of the Berlin Wall


  • Intro

    On 9 November 1989, TV viewers through Europe watched the good news in disbelief. For nearly 30 years, the Berlin Wall had divided off Berlin's West German enclave from Communist East Germany. And now here were thousands of ordinary Germans, cheering and celebrating as they crossed it unchecked, ceremonially hacking out chunks. It was the culmination of weeks - perhaps years - of popular discontent in the East, which its leadership had not known how to deal with.


    A year later the two Germanys merged to form a new united country. Similar popular movements in other Communist-bloc countries followed, many joining the European Union, which expanded from 12 countries in 1989 to 27 in 2004. Everyday life changed across the continent.


    Germans sometimes feel nostalgic about aspects of life lost since "die Wende" ('the turning point', the events of 1989 and 1990) - but nobody is proposing to reinstate a single brick.


    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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