How People Celebrated the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Culture |

On November 9, 1989, the wall separating East Berlin and West Berlin was torn down, symbolizing the end of the Cold War, and the reunification of Germany.

At the end of the Second World War, Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union, France, UK, and US. In an effort to make sure that citizens of East Berlin did not relocate to the Western part of the city, the Soviet Union constructed two concrete walls across Berlin spanning 87 miles, separating the people from their loved ones. The two walls were parallel to one another and in the middle between then stood the space where guards would patrol and monitor the area, making sure no one crossed over or else they would be shot.  

In November 1989, after German citizens protested for many weeks against the Soviet occupation in Berlin, Mikhail Gorbachev declared that the wall was to be broken down and the border between the two halves of the city be demolished. These photos are from that time in history, where Germany became one again and the people got to see their loved ones again. 

A boy chipping away at the Berlin wall a few days after the declaration, on November 12, 1989. 

People climbing the Berlin Wall the morning following the Soviet announcement that exit visas will be granted to East Germans wanting to finally go to the West. People thought that the border was then open, which was not the case. Many people rushed the wall right after. 

Punk rock youth chipping at the wall.

Thousands of people rushing the Berlin Wall in an attempt to get through the border on November 9, 1989. 

Guards from East Germany inspecting the damage to the wall. 

A couple hold onto each other as they watch the Berlin Wall fall. 

West and East German police try to contain a massive crowd of people from East Berlin as they try to get through the wall's opening which was located at Potsdamer Platz. November 12, 1989.

The border opening of the wall at Bernauer Strasse. 

An elderly woman tearing up and wiping away tears at the border passage near the Wahlenstrasse bridge. 

Men sitting atop the Berlin Wall celebrating the near destruction of the wall and the change in the political climate. 

West and East German border guards meet for the first time on mutual ground. 

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