5 facts about the Berlin Wall

The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall: "On November 9, 1989, East Germans began picking at the wall with hammers, picks – even their bare hands – until the mammoth structure that had divided the city for the past 28 years lay in ruins." - Acton

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Aaron Blumer's picture


Until 1961, people regularly passed from East Germany (known as the German Democratic Republic, or DDR) to West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany, or DBR) – too regularly for the Communist authorities. Up to one-sixth of the population of East Germany, nearly 3.5 million people, fled into West Germany – reaching 1,000 a day by 1961. To stop the emigration of workers from the workers’ paradise, Nikita Khrushchev gave Socialist Unity Party General Secretary Walter Ulbricht permission to erect a barrier on the border.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Dictatorships build walls to keep their people from escaping.  Free countries build walls to keep too many from coming in. 

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

....to be the first person chipping away at that monstrousity, knowing full well that Honecker and the Stasi had machine guns that had killed a few hundred of their countrymen right there already.  I got to see it in August 1989, and it still boggles my mind how quickly the Communists decided that they were no longer willing to kill their neighbors to preserve their system.

Even more mind-boggling, though, is how anyone who had experienced that system firsthand (as I did,, and as Bernie Sanders did) could fail to figure out that there was something tremendously wrong and evil with the system that created that wall. 

BTW, another wall fell yesterday; Evo Morales has resigned in Bolivia, ending protests of his illegal candidacy which left at least one person dead.  My daughter's host family in Cochabamba (from last summer) told her that the protesters had basically shut the city down.  They were basically--like their predecessors in Warsaw Pact countries--telling the leader that nothing moves until he does.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.