Berlin wall

Thirty years ago the epochal fall

It was 11/9/1989. A date imprinted on the most positive pages of recent history. A day, a month and a year that remind us of the fall of the Berlin wall, built by the Russians in the heart of the old continent in the early sixties. On 13 August 1961 the borders between East Germany and West Germany were definitively closed. A closure that will last 28 years, 1961 – 1989, between social and institutional absurdities and conflicts within the Cold War between Americans, Russians and their European allies. No more bombs, but the weapons of politics, economics and propaganda, often at that time artifacts and harmful tools. Why the wall? The Soviets had set it up, about 140 km long and 3.60 meters high, to isolate the eastern part of Berlin from the west. Thus two blocks were born: the eastern control on one side and the western one on the other. It was a way to curb the exodus of citizens, about three million, from the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) to the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), attracted by a freer and better life in the shadow of a solid economic boom . However, the wall did not prevent many citizens from trying to overcome it in difficult situations and under careful military control. Few succeeded; many instead were sent back with determination and under the threat of arms. However, the exodus was blocked and human rights, such as free movement and personal life choices, were fully struck with it. Eight checkpoints were created for the controlled passages. With the Yalta and Potsdam conferences (1945), at the end of the war, defeated Germany was divided into four occupation zones, divided between the United States, France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The first three zones will create Federal Germany; the fourth will give birth to the German Democratic Republic. However, several things changed between 1961 and 1989. The Soviet bloc at some point began its decline until the definitive fall of 1991. In East Germany the leader of the communist party Erich Honecker had resigned. The square was once again a place of protest for citizens. Dissensions that led the government of the Democratic Republic to announce that it was possible to resume travel to West Germany. On November 9, thousands of citizens armed with pickaxes, both from the east and west of the wall, had gone in front of the “BarlinerMauer” to await the demolition order. After hours of confusion someone, to date unidentified, gave the order to open the borders. There followed the greatest celebration that history has ever known. Each brought with him a small piece of wall so as not to forget. On that day not only a wall fell, but the arrogance of a power that can do and undo people’s destinies. After about a year, on October 3, 1990, Germany returned united in its natural borders with the name of the Federal Republic of Germany. The rest is history of our days.

 

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