Joseph B., Jason M.
WHEN DID THE WALL FALL?
The fall of the Berlin Wall has triggered much controversy and plays a major part in the shaping of the modern political ideology and beliefs. The specific date of the descent of the Berlin encasement wall was the 10th of November, 1989. The wall took 3 hours to fall and between 125-206 people died trying to cross the wall. There were many tourists participating who could hire axes to hit the wall and contribute to the atmosphere.
The fall of the Berlin Wall occurred when the people of East Berlin had had enough. The fall of the Berlin Wall also marked the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new life for the Germans.
WHY DID THE WALL FALL?
Border crossing points all along the wall were opened to anyone who wanted to cross on 9 November 1989, following the conclusion of an international press conference in East Berlin, when greater freedom of travel was announced for people of the German Democratic Republic (prior to this date, East Germans were only allowed to enter the West under strict conditions). Earlier that evening, the East German government spokesman, Gunther Schakowsky, had announced on TV that East Germans would be allowed to travel abroad freely but didn’t announce the date when this would come into effect.
The guards at the Brandenburg Gate were at a loss as to what to do. In the end they decided to let people cross over and merely put a rubber stamp in their passports. Then the number reached the point where even that was no longer possible. The official demolition of the Berlin wall began on 13 June 1990, and was undertaken by former East German border guards under a democratically elected government.
WHAT WAS THE EXPIRIENCE LIKE FOR THOSE WHO WERE THERE?
The Berlin Wall’s collapse was much more than just a physical change in the government of Berlin, but an emotional journey for the tourists who observed the falling and the residents of Berlin at the time. The tourists, it they hired an axe (rate of 10£), could keep whatever part of the wall they took out. When the wall collapsed, the people inside East Berlin felt a sense of freedom from the encasement that was felt while the fence was enforced.
The experience was a great fulfillment of the unity of a nation that had a “handicap” on them for such a long time. Many people expressed their opinion through writing on the wall in regards to the ultimate dream of liberty (as shown in Source A). The fall of the Berlin Wall was the mark of the end of the Cold War. The experience was one of a lifetime and has influenced many people of today, especially the government and parliament of both communism and capitalism.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
- What year did the Wall fall?
- As a tourist, was there participation in the fall of the Berlin Wall?
- What was the rate for 15 minutes of destroying the Wall?
- Why was the Wall’s fall significant?
- How long did it take for the Wall to fall?
- The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the War.
- How did the fall of the Berlin Wall effect people?
USING THE SOURCES
- Is Source A a primary source? Explain.
- In what perspective is Source B? Clarify.
- Explain how Sources A & B can affect the views of people in modern day society towards the falling of the Berlin Wall.