Fall of berlin wall definition

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fall of berlin wall definition

The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall by Mary Elise Sarotte

On the night of November 9, 1989, massive crowds surged toward the Berlin Wall, drawn by an announcement that caught the world by surprise: East Germans could now move freely to the West. The Wall—infamous symbol of divided Cold War Europe—seemed to be falling. But the opening of the gates that night was not planned by the East German ruling regime—nor was it the result of a bargain between either Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

It was an accident.

In The Collapse, prize-winning historian Mary Elise Sarotte reveals how a perfect storm of decisions made by daring underground revolutionaries, disgruntled Stasi officers, and dictatorial party bosses sparked an unexpected series of events culminating in the chaotic fall of the Wall. With a novelists eye for character and detail, she brings to vivid life a story that sweeps across Budapest, Prague, Dresden, and Leipzig and up to the armed checkpoints in Berlin.
We meet the revolutionaries Roland Jahn, Aram Radomski, and Siggi Schefke, risking it all to smuggle the truth across the Iron Curtain; the hapless Politburo member Gunter Schabowski, mistakenly suggesting that the Wall is open to a press conference full of foreign journalists, including NBCs Tom Brokaw; and Stasi officer Harald Jager, holding the fort at the crucial border crossing that night. Soon, Brokaw starts broadcasting live from Berlins Brandenburg Gate, where the crowds are exulting in the euphoria of newfound freedom—and the dictators are plotting to restore control.

Drawing on new archival sources and dozens of interviews, The Collapse offers the definitive account of the night that brought down the Berlin Wall.

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fall of the Berlin Wall

The city of Berlin was split between the two coalitions. This was known as the Cold War—not a formally declared war, but an intense state of ideological conflict, diplomatic tension, and an arms race that would see the creation of increasingly deadly nuclear weapons. With Berlin at its center, East and West Germany served as a stark symbol of the divide between the Eastern and Western blocs. The Soviet Union attempted to eject the allies, and tried to stem the flow of refugees that frequently fled a harsh, stark Communist existence to West Germany. Before the wall, East and West Berliners could move across the border freely to visit, shop, and work. The first version of the Berlin Wall was made of barbed wire and cinder blocks, materials later replaced with concrete walls, towering up to feet high in some areas and capped with barbed wire. At its longest, the Berlin wall covered over miles.

By Laurence Dodds. It may formally cling on for several more months, and Germany will not be united for two years. But the regime is living on borrowed time. Berlin celebrates. Berlin Wall art comes to London. The Berlin Wall has collapsed.

It serves thousands of daily newspapers, radio and television channels, and online customers by providing comprehensive news coverage. AP is a nonprofit organization with 3, employees working in more than offices in countries. On July 25, , two months after victory in Europe, the Allies met in the German city of Potsdam to discuss Germany's fate. Intended to give Germans "the opportunity to prepare for the eventual reconstruction of their life on a democratic and peaceful basis," the country was divided into four occupied zones, one for each of the Allies—Britain, France, United States , and Soviet Union. The first three zones were capitalist and democratic; the Soviet zone, under the control of Joseph Stalin — , became communist.

The Berlin Wall: The Partitioning of Berlin

History Of Berlin Wall - Amazing Documentary TV

Berlin Wall , German Berliner Mauer , barrier that surrounded West Berlin and prevented access to it from East Berlin and adjacent areas of East Germany during the period from to In the years between and , about 2. Their loss threatened to destroy the economic viability of the East German state. The original wall, built of barbed wire and cinder blocks, was subsequently replaced by a series of concrete walls up to 15 feet [5 metres] high that were topped with barbed wire and guarded with watchtowers, gun emplacements, and mines. By the s that system of walls, electrified fences, and fortifications extended 28 miles 45 km through Berlin, dividing the two parts of the city, and extended a further 75 miles km around West Berlin, separating it from the rest of East Germany.

The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the " Wall of Shame ", a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt in reference to the Wall's restriction on freedom of movement. Before the Wall's erection, 3. Between and the Wall prevented almost all such emigration. In , a series of revolutions in nearby Eastern Bloc countries— Poland and Hungary in particular—caused a chain reaction in East Germany that ultimately resulted in the demise of the Wall.


  1. Prunella N. says:

    Berlin Wall: How the Wall came down, as it happened 25 years ago - Telegraph

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