Monday, November 9, 2009

The Wall Fell

I pause on this day to note that twenty years ago today, November 9, 1989, the German people broke through the Berlin Wall, the most optimistic day of my lifetime:
What confronted us at the Bornholmer bridge was beyond belief: a vast tide of people, some in tears, many just looking stunned, flooding across. Behind them were the huge glaring arc lights, guard huts, raised barriers and a line of puffing Trabant and Wartburg cars. Two East German border guards stood there looking bewildered. One, I remember, was crying. With no orders from above, the guards had simply buckled under the pressure of a 20,000 strong crowd of East Berliners chanting "Open the gate!" and raised the barriers.

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