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Politics & Current Affairs

Berlin Wall Toppling

On this day 20 years ago the wall dividing East and West Berlin was toppled heralding an end to the cold war and the division of Germany.

“’Twenty eight years and 91 days!’ said the elated east Berliner I [The Guardian journalist Timothy Garton Ash] met walking up the Friedrichstrasse soon after the wall was breached. On the day the Berlin Wall went up, 13 August 1961, his parents had wanted to go to the cinema in west Berlin, but he, then aged 11, had been too tired. Next morning, they awoke to the sound of tanks. In all his adult life, he had never been to the western half of his own city. He told me how moved he was by an improvised poster that read ‘only today is the war really over’.” The people who were there during the fall remember the sense of euphoria that they felt as the strangely flimsy, graphitized and reviled wall that had divided a people for nearly three decades was thrashed to the ground by the baying hordes to cheers of jubilation.


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