(The Berlin Wall - so after 28 years of grief, death and terror, it's over in a few minutes.)
With the relaxation on travel restrictions between East and West Germany, it was only a matter of time before the wall dividing the two Berlins became impractical and a relic of the Cold War. But the speed with which the change occurred took the rest of the world by surprise. As the day wore on and as reports came in as fast as they happened, it was slowly becoming apparent to the rest of the world that the Iron Curtain indeed was evaporating.
Mike Pulsiver (CBS News): "Witnesses are quoted as saying they have seen East German soldiers dismantling a section of the Berlin Wall as an incredible story keeps unfolding at breakneck speed."
The irony was, after so many years of a seemingly impregnable wall dividing the city and the endless attempts to escape to the West and the loss of life that happened during those attempts, the fact that the wall came down so quickly seemed ironic and in some ways strange. But the people of Berlin seized the moment and it became one huge party. The past was gone and there was no turning back.
As a bonus for our German friends, or those of you who want to brush up on your German, I've included a several news reports from German Radio from November 9-11, 1989. They are separated by a few seconds of silence between cuts.
The clips go as follows:
1. Press Conference with Gunter Schabowski, DDR
2. Radio report
3. Radio DDR – 3 am news
4. Berlin Radio
5. SFB Radio – 8 am news
6. Comments by Walter Momper from Bonn
7. Jugenradio DT 64 – News 5pm.
8. Willy Brandt address
9. Address by Egon Krenz