Posted Nov 09, 2012By
November 9, 1989 – The Fall of the Berlin Wall. Communist-controlled East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall allowing its citizens to travel to West Germany.
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by East Germanystarting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. The Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period. Around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall, with estimates of the resulting death toll varying between 100 and 200.
In 1989, 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. 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. The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990.
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