November 9th 2019, 30 Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall
November 12, 2019
by Magnum Photographers
The Berlin Wall stretched over a hundred miles. It ran not only through the centre of Berlin, but also wrapped around West Berlin, entirely cutting West Berlin off from the rest of East Germany.
By 1989 it had been transformed into an 80 meter wide no-man’s-land, with an additional inner wall, soldiers patrolling with dogs, a raked ground that showed footprints, anti-vehicle trenches, electric fences, light systems, watchtowers, bunkers, and minefields.
There had been signs in 1988 and 1989 that the Communist bloc was weakening, as Communism began to falter in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. On the evening of November 9, 1989, an announcement made by East German government official Günter Schabowski who stated, "Permanent relocations can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR (East Germany) into the FRG (West Germany) or West Berlin."
Very quickly, the Berlin Wall was inundated with people from both sides. Some chipping at the Berlin Wall with hammers and chisels as an impromptu celebration took place.
After the Berlin Wall came down, East and West Germany reunified into a single German state on October 3, 1990.
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