Anyone old enough to remember the Fall of the Wall?

Don’t know whether it’s on the news everywhere in the world, so just that you know what I’m talking about:

Today, 30 years ago, the Berlin Wall, the most prominent bit of the Iron Curtain dividing Europe and the world into West and East, fell.

Are you old enough to remember it?
What did you think then?

I missed the news on the very day, but when I finally got them, one of the thoughts that went through my head (apart from disbelieve) was that maybe, after all, I was not going to die in a nuclear war, as I had expected all my life.

Today, I start to wonder whether this thought was a bit rash.

I remember seeing the pictures of people sitting on top of the wall, singing and drinking, before it was torn down. It felt good to see it come down. Then there was the attempted coup in Russia where the hardliners tried to reverse perestroika.

Of course, these days David Hasselhoff takes the credit for the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

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Still have a piece of that wall somewhere. It was so symbolic. But aye, perhaps it was a bit rash.

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I remember watching it come down and just like a lot of people at that time, I didn’t believe it was going to happen until after it was actually down. A lot of people lost their lives trying to escape the brutality that existed prior to the wall coming down.

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I have a Cold War story not explicitly about the wall though. I grew up around Washington, mostly in the Maryland suburbs. The embassy of the Soviet Union was across the street from an area of Rock Creek Park. I used to ride bikes and just generally hang out at the park. Well, one day me and some friends decided to climb into this old storage barn in the park just opposite the Soviet embassy. It was unlocked. The place was filled with what looked like concert mics and such. We didn’t think too much of it. We sat and ate our lunch then headed out going about our business. Years later I hear on the news that the barn was used for spying on the Embassy and that all the equipment we thought was for free concerts and such was this spy equipment.

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The press and media was largely responsible for the fear-mongering that was happening. The Russian mindset is largely unchanged when it comes to what their leaders have done and will continue to do. They respect a position of strength and view negotiation as weakness. When Kennedy met with the Soviets, his only intention was to open dialogue, which was taken as a sign of weakness. They believed he would back down in regards to Cuba. Kennedy standing strong with the blockade is what caused the Soviets to back down.

I only remember it after the fact, b/c I was too young to have any memory of anything when the wall went down.

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How was it told to you? As a great thing that happened in your lifetime, or as some boring history lesson?

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WHICH wall?

As a boring history lesson during high school in American History class.

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Fair question.
I’m talking about that one around West Berlin, 1961-1989.
Others are still to fall, and still others might yet be built.

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I’m sorry to hear that. For me, though I wasn’t on the spot when it happened, it changed the world.

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It’s a shame it was handled in such a way. The most complete documentation done to date has 327 lives lost to the Berlin Wall.

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Yes, it did change the world. Our world.

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I do, but I was too young to really grasp the implications of it, how it ended an era and started a new one.

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I agree.

And it is an absolute tragedy that people died trying to escape the “happiness” forced on them.

Exactly!

Understandable. I’m not sure I would believe how the world was before if I hadn’t seen it. Felt it.

‘Happiness’ in much the same way the Stasi were ‘beloved’ by the people. The Soviet Union collapsed just a short time ago and far too many people have no idea what horrors existed on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

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I was three months old when it fell, so I was too young to form a memory. I guess it changed a lot of things (and I’m glad it did) but I grew up on the other side of Germany and in a world where the wall was already gone, so I can’t really say it impacted me personally.

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