Fall Of The Berlin Wall

Fall of the Berlin Wall was the most awaited and looked forward by the majority of people in both East and West Germany, but, as usually, it happened unexpectedly.

The day in November in 1989 became a very important day of the last century. Actually, last century was rich for historic and epochal events, but the fall of the Berlin Wall was expected to be symbolic and promising to be the beginning of great changes in the world to the better.

The wind of change was all around.

People were happy and cried. It was a cry of joy. Looking at videos and photos of that period, you can see that eyes of people were happy. When someone is released and feels the wind of freedom and they realize it and at that moment they feel euphoria and happiness. That was generally the feeling of Berliners and Germans.

Many people , especially in East Germany, hoped that with the fall of the Wall they would be free from their own problems. And such approach brought some people to the other extreme- disappointment. Idealizing the fall of the Berlin Wall and later disillusions was like facing the truth and reality. No more Berlin Wall but still no happiness. People all over the globe thought that the event would not be just left to be the local event for East and West Germany.

Let us shortly consider the main well known facts about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fall of the Berlin Wall in Facts: Due to the fact that Hungarians opened the border to Austria on 19 August 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall actually began. Prior to that Hungarians were used to guard their borders very good, that was why East Germans were allowed to visit that socialist country as tourists. As it is well known - Germans are crazy about traveling.

So, in September 1989 more than 13,000 East German tourists escaped through Hungary to Austria.

East Germans applied to West German embassy for visa and West German passports.

  • Similar actions were taken by East Germans in Czechoslovakia. It was like a mass escape of East Germans. All who could imagine to leave the country started to run away, as they thought that it could be the only possibility to leave GDR.
  • The leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, resigned on 18 October 1989 and was replaced by Egon Krenz a few days later. Actually, Honecker could not perform his duties under changing circumstances and the party decided to replace him, hoping that another one could save the situation.
  • In September 1989 protest demonstrations of GDR citizens took place all over East Germany . Initially, protesters were mostly people wanting to leave to the West. Their slogan was "Wir wollen raus!" ("We want out!"). Actually, they wanted to leave the country joining the mass escaping citizens who were deported from Prague on the way to West Germany through the territory of GDR. GDR authorities wanted to prove that they have the situation under their control and demanded that East German citizens should pass the territory of GDR instead of directly moving to West Germany from Prague. In reality, they totally lost control when other residing in Dresden and Leipzig population also wanted to join the trains with escaping East Germans. It was a total disaster for GDR authorities and actually it just speeded up the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  • Another slogan of protestors "Wir bleiben hier", ("We're staying here!") became the start of so called "Peaceful Revolution" of the Fall 1989.
  • The protest demonstrations started to be stronger by the beginning of November. And on 4 November when half a million of people gathered at the Alexanderplatz, undoubtedly, the Berlin Wall fall could not be avoided as the result of the peaceful revolution.
  • The mass stream of refugees leaving East Germany for the West had tendency only for increase. The government held by Krenz decided on 9 November was forced to allow refugees to pass through border control units between East Germany and West Germany, as well as West Berlin.
  • On the press conference it was announced that the decree about the regulations how to cross the border was on effect immediately.
  • So, that date- 9 November became the date of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As we already mentioned people run to the border area and started to celebrate.

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It should also be mentioned that not all countries and people were happy about the Berlin Wall fall.

Some leading world powers were concerned about the future and character of the unified Germany. It was not clear how the world would be developing under new circumstances. But the father of perestroika and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev supported unification and it was decisive. And finally all looks good. After more than 20 years of unification Germans can say that not all went smoothly but generally all looks satisfying and prospects are generally great.

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