(East German refugee in 1989 - Giddy relief mixed with nightsticks) In what would eventually be the collapse of the Soviet Union and the former Eas
October 1, 2009

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(East German refugee in 1989 - Giddy relief mixed with nightsticks)

In what would eventually be the collapse of the Soviet Union and the former Eastern Bloc in general, the exodus from East Germany started hot on the heels of news that Hungary had decided to open its borders to Austria, allowing some 60,000 the opportunity to migrate West.

The floodgates opened and soon highways and embassies were jammed with East Germans, heading West.

John Holland (CBS News): “ The latest report is around 250 people approached the back fence of the West German Embassy which has been cordoned off by barricades and guarded by police. But when police saw the numbers of people coming the simply let them pass and they climbed over the back fence into the embassy, adding to the estimated 5,000 East German refugees believed to be in the embassy compound. West German Red Cross officials at this hour are saying that they cannot any longer accommodate new arrivals, but West German embassy sources say they are still coming in and place is still being made. And in some cases the embassy employees are giving up their offices in order to shelter refugees.”

The beginning of October was just the tip of the iceberg.

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