Opening and fall of the Berlin Wall - knopki.info
It will soon be 30 years since one of the most momentous events in modern history.
Thirty years ago, I was an eyewitness to history, as jubilant East Germans danced on the Berlin Wall and took their first awe-eyed steps into freedom.
History records that the Berlin Wall fell, and like dominoes, so too did the eastern European dictatorships and then the Soviet Union. With miraculously little bloodshed. But why? In the mids, the Soviet Union was at their pinnacle of worldwide expansion and power.
They directed Communist revolutionary forces around the world, built terrifying weapons and maintained an iron grip on their homeland. They seemed as eternal as the pyramids. Economically, Reagan gained the cooperation of the Saudis to crash the price of oil, thus robbing the Soviets of much of their foreign revenue.
Militarily, his rapid modernization of our armed forces forced the Soviets to bankrupt themselves in trying to keep up, and his initial development of missile defense may have been the final straw. At the time pre WTO and NAFTA , we still manufactured virtually everything and harnessed our immense industrial capability to rebuild our military in years, not the decades it may take today. Yet, Gorbachev only slightly relaxed the dictatorial hold on the Soviet people. And it is what made people rush to the Wall on November 9, And it is what made the East German regime afraid to fire the guns on that wondrous day.
Once the horses had left the barn, it was too late to close the gate, and this tidal wave of a sense of freedom swept the Communist regimes to the scrapheap of history.
It may be that the Soviet leadership was too demoralized and overwhelmed to order the genocidal crackdown that would have been necessary to restore their tyranny.
This sense of rising expectations was felt halfway around the world in China , filling Tiananmen Square and cities across China with millions demanding their freedom. They almost succeeded. All the border controls ended on July 1st and Germany became one country again on October 3rd It was a forbidding and impenetrable barrier between two states and between the world's opposing political ideals.
On November 9 it was announced that exit visas would be granted to all East Germans who wished to visit the West. The border was now open. Overjoyed citizens flocked to the Berlin Wall and began pulling it down with sledgehammers, chisels or their hands. Germany was reunified in October Each took responsibility for a different part of the country. Britain, America and France took over the areas in the west of Germany and the Soviet Union controlled the east.
Berlin was in the Soviet zone, but as it was the capital of Germany, it was decided that it would also be divided into four areas - one controlled by each of the four countries.
This 27 mile barrier consisted of two concrete walls. A total people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall during its existence. The west side of this wall was covered in graffiti but the east side was not.