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Berlin Wall

Essay by   •  February 16, 2011  •  Essay  •  487 Words (2 Pages)  •  827 Views

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Paradoxically the fall of the Berlin Wall began in the night of August 13th 1961, when the Wall was erected. However it took about three decades for the symbol of the Cold War to be pulled down.

Several times people in the communist countries rose up against the system, but failed. The victims of the uprisings in Berlin 1953, Budapest 1956 and Prague 1968 will never be forgotten. It was in 1989 - when the first free Labour Union was founded in communist Poland - that the communist system began to come to an end. The Soviet Union was still in control of the satellite countries, but the new leadership of Gorbachev changed politics. Gorbachev's reforms, Perestroika and Glasnost, affected all communist countries. On 23rd August 1989 Hungary opened the iron curtain to Austria. East German tourists had already used their chance to escape to Austria from Hungary and in September 1989 more than 13.000 East German escaped via Hungary in three days. It was the first mass exodus of East Germans to the Western countries after the erection of the Wall. Mass demonstrations against the government and the system in East Germany began at the end of September and lasted until November 1989. Erich Honecker, East Germany's head of state, had to resign on 18th October 1989. On 9th November 1989, the new government prepared a law to abolish the travel restrictions for East German citizens. Immediately thousands of East Berliners were filing past Check Point Charlie unchecked. It was the end of the Berlin Wall.

I was 14 then and still at school in Italy. I only saw this extraordinary event on TV and everything seemed so distant to me.

I wish I had been in Berlin, felt the enthusiasm and the joy of all Berliners, waiting excitedly to pass freely to the other side. I would have been able to hear the excitements and the shouts on both sides of the wall, and to listen to the news on TV. Was it be true that after more than 27 years, this separated city could be united again? No one could imagine that the communists would simply open the border without a fight. Everybody in the crowd feared their reaction and was waiting for the first shots of the soldiers who guarded the wall. But deep in their hearts, people also had a glimmer of hope: the miracle was becoming true. And they all stood in the cold November evening feeling that they were all witnessing a special moment in the world history.

I wish I had been

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