Fall of the Berlin Wall
In 1963, shortly after the Berlin Wall was built, arrived the American president John F. Kennedy to West – Berlin. He conducted in front of the Schöneberg Rathaus his famous speech “Ich bin ein Berliner!” More than 120 000 people were present and delightfully listened to his words.
He said: „All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‚Ich bin ein Berliner!‘ „
The very well – known The Brandenburg Gate was situated exactly on the frontiers between East and West – Berlin, so that it was not possible to visit it.
In 1987 visited West – Berlin the American president Ronald Reagan and gave another famous speech. The speech was addressed to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
He said: „Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!“
Year 1989 was a disaster for the Eastern Block. In most eastern European countries occurred riots and civil initiatives that resulted in transitions of political regimes of those countries. The events effected also Berlin.
The fall of the Berlin Wall happened quite surprisingly on 9 November 1989. In the last days, the leadership of East – Berlin discussed the situation and considered the necessary political changes, including changes in frontiers.
During the Press conference broadcasted on TV, Günter Schabowski, the party boss in East Berlin, announced the planned changes, that were approved just few hours ago. He was not prepared enough and informed enough and he did not know how to handle the information. He said that a measure, that allows to travel to the west through whichever border crossing, was accepted.
On the question, when will the measure come into force, answered accidentally “right now”. However, the measure was actually still not approved.
During the next hours the crowds of people tried to go to the west through border crossings and in the evening about 11:00 p. m. the border guards surrendered. In the night tens of thousands Berliner leaved for West – Berlin.
The fall of the Wall begun on 9 November 1989 and continued during the following days. People demolished the wall using various tools. People cheered the bulldozers tearing down the wall. Many new border crossings were established.
The West – Berliners were allowed to travel visa – free to the East – Berlin in December. Every road that went through the Berlin Wall was reconstructed and reopened by 1 August 1990.
The fall of Berlin Wall was the most important step to reunify Germany. On 3 October 1990 the East Germany ceased to exist and the reunified Germany came into existence as a democratic state based on lines of the West Germany.