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Europe

The many little stories that made history

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-08-13

On November 9, 1989, thousands of individual stories came together to make history. FRANCE 24 asked those who witnessed the fall of the Wall to recount their experience. Each has a different story to tell.

 

When former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and the former Chancellor of re-united Germany, Helmut Kohl, met ahead of the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, they stressed that it was the people, not their leaders, who were responsible for the peaceful revolution that occurred that night. These are some of the stories of the thousands of unkown heroes that changed the course of history.
 
 
Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell? Eyewitnesses tell their story
When news broke that the Wall had been breached, Maria Schüler flocked to Bornholmer Strasse Bridge with thousands of others, passing through what was left of the Iron Curtain. “I stood on the bridge and drank champagne and cried”, she remembers. Riccardo Ehrman, the journalist who asked the question that triggered the fall of the Wall, remembers the astoundment and rush of excitement that followed the announcement by a poorly briefed East German official that travel restrictions had been lifted. 
 
  
 
 
Bits of Wall around the world: Five unlikely destinations where segments of the Berlin Wall ended up
What is left of the brick and concrete wall that divided Berlin for 28 years? Chunks of it remain in the city itself, but some have ended up in unlikely destinations. A Portuguese shrine, a university in Baltimore, and an Australian country club are just some of them. For South Koreans, divided from their northern neighbours by an iron curtain of their own, a segment of the Wall in a park in Seoul has a special significance.
 
 
  
 
 
 
Meeting at the Wall: The friendship of former East and West German policemen
Günther and Peter, former policemen, were both attempting to channel the crowds when the wall came down on November 9, 1989 - but on either side of the divide. The pair later becames friends. Two decades on, they celebrate together at the foot of the wall that once kept them apart.

 

Date created : 2009-11-09

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