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Old 11-09-2009   #1
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20 Years of freedom

It is 20 years ago today, November the 9th, as the iron curtain collapsed. People all over the GDR came to the 'wall' to destroy it and to visit there people in West-Germany. A happy end of a (basically) peaceful revolution, done by the people.

Quote:
Germany celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall

Tens of thousands celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Monday, as world leaders gathered in the German capital for emotional commemorations of the defining moment in the end of communism in Europe.



German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on the bridge where many East Germans had their first taste of freedom, as the crumbling East German state finally opened the despised concrete border on November 9, 1989.

Merkel, who grew up in the communist state, Gorbachev and ex-Polish president Lech Walesa passed through what used to be the Bornholmer Strasse border crossing, where euphoric easterners first went to the West that night.

"It is not only a day of celebration for Germans. It is a day of celebration for the whole of Europe," she said.

Earlier Merkel attended a "very moving" memorial service at a church where pro-democracy rallies were held in the weeks before the Wall was opened, and
lamented the enduring scars of the country's postwar division.

"German unity is still incomplete," Merkel told ARD public television, noting how east Germany still lagged behind the west in economic growth, with joblessness nearly twice as high. "We must tackle this problem if we want to achieve equal quality of life."

The chancellor gave her warning before the main ceremonies at the historic Brandenburg Gate with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, presidents Nicolas
Sarkozy of France and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton.

The festivities at the Gate, once on the border between East and West Berlin, will feature an open-air concert and the symbolic toppling of 1,000 giant styrofoam dominoes along two kilometres (1.2 miles) of the Wall's former course.

Gorbachev, who is still a revered figure in Germany, Walesa and dissidents who helped end European communism will also be on hand at the former "death strip" where border guards once had shoot-to-kill orders. At least 136 people who tried to cross it were killed.

Following weeks of protests against the regime, East Germany's authorities suddenly allowed people to travel to the West that autumn evening. After 28 years as prisoners in their own country, stunned East Germans streamed to checkpoints and rushed past bewildered guards, many falling tearfully into the arms of West Germans on the other side.

[..]
[Full article]
[Source: The Local]

Other interesting articles:
[Walking the Berlin Wall then and now]
[‘A panicked border guard using his gun was our biggest worry’]
[‘The way it went for us in 1989 is not the way it always goes’]
[A day in the life of East Germany]
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Old 11-09-2009   #2
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Re: 20 Years of freedom

reagan smash!
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Old 11-09-2009   #3
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Re: 20 Years of freedom

It's nice to look at how the culture of my ancestors are succeeding today
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Old 11-10-2009   #4
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Re: 20 Years of freedom

This makes me feel old, I can't believe its been 20 years.
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Old 11-10-2009   #5
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Re: 20 Years of freedom

I feel old. I actually remember the news about the wall.
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Old 11-16-2009   #6
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Re: 20 Years of freedom

I feel young. Because I am.
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Old 11-19-2009   #7
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Re: 20 Years of freedom

I never thought I would see this happen in my life time and here is 20 years later, still amazing.
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