The Fall of the Berlin Wall - A Boxego Moment in History - 9th November 1989

Nov 09, 2013

A  BoxegoTimeline journal entry…

The Berlin Wall was a land barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The Eastern Bloc – the combined countries of Eastern Europe and the then USSR – claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In reality, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection of the populous to the West in search of a better standard of living outside of communist rule.

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The Berlin Wall stretched over a hundred miles. It ran not only through the center of Berlin, but also wrapped around West Berlin, entirely cutting West Berlin off from the rest of East Germany.

The Berlin Wall started out as a barbed-wire fence with concrete posts, fence but it was quickly replaced with a more permanent structure made out of concrete blocks, topped with barbed wire. Eventually the wall consisted of concrete slabs over three and a half meters high and over a meter wide with a smooth pipe running across the top to make climbing it almost impossible. By the time the wall fell in 1989, there was a 300-foot No-Man's-Land, an additional inner wall, soldiers patrolling with dogs, a raked ground that showed footprints, anti-vehicle trenches, electric fences, massive light systems, watchtowers, bunkers, and minefields.

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The only official way through the wall was at a series of heavily guarded Check Points. The most famous of these was Checkpoint Charlie, located on the border between East and West Berlin at Friedrichstrasse. Checkpoint Charlie was the main access point for Allied personnel and Westerners to cross the border. Not long after Soon after the wall was built, Checkpoint Charlie became an icon of the Cold War and was frequently featured in movies and books set during this time period.

In 1989, radical political changes took place across the whole of the Eastern Bloc, culminating in the liberation of many countries from under the cosh of communism and the authoritarian regimes that had controlled them for decades.

After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin.

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Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere.

Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest



Category: Moment