In a break with Soviet policy, Mikhail Gorbachev decided against using the threat of military might to quell mass demonstrations and political revolution in neighbouring countries. "People could have been injured or killed even without shots being fired, in scuffles, or if there had been panic among the thousands gathered at the border crossing," he told Der Spiegel. It took about 3 decades until the wall was torn down!!!!! Simple words for an awesome event. "We now have the Frank Sinatra doctrine," foreign ministry spokesman Gennady Gerasimov told US television. However, the press conference occurred before the spokesperson had a chance to read rule changes in full. The dismantling of the Berlin Wall was the climax of six months in which the communist regimes of eastern Europe tottered and fell. I was OK though. When the Berlin Wall came down. After a bit, some young East Germans, who had just passed through the Wall, came up to me and asked: "Which way to KaDeWe?" Five days later, Mr Schabowski gave his world-changing press conference. Gorbachev's acts of reform brought him the Nobel Peace Prize. Various protests across the USSR had shown that its hold was weakening, and the wall’s collapse marked the death knell for the Soviet Union and, consequently, the Cold War. Walked over to a curb stone. After the Berlin Wall came down, East and West Germany reunified into a single German state on October 3, 1990. I was 14 when I first went to Berlin and the wall was still firmly in place. Czechoslovakia, whose push for liberalising reform had been brutally suppressed in 1968, provided another means of escape. Notes about the new rules were handed to a spokesman, GÃ¼nter Schabowski - who had no time to read them before his regular press conference. I kept on as long as I could, then gave the pole. Read more: Uwe Rösler: German reunification 'came at the right time for me' as a footballer. I was told repeatedly by East Germans I met, that the "Wall" would come down soon. They sealed off West Berlin in 1961. Over the next few weeks the feeling in the air was electric, as if some great force had been let loose, perhaps the greatest example of positive [collective] human will ever seen, in my mind the opposite of what happened in the summer of 1914 - a real peaceful revolution. Faced with such a sudden mass of people, the guards were told to stand down and allow them through. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. New openings were made in the wall, like here at Potsdamer Platz two days later. The west side of this wall was covered in graffiti but the east side was not. I thought they were being a little over optimistic to say the least. Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Overjoyed citizens flocked to the Berlin Wall and began pulling it down with sledgehammers, chisels or their hands. When did the Berlin Wall fall? Flabbergasted at this easy going and untypical attitude I could only say "Thanks, thanks a lot... you've been really helpful." The Berlin Wall was erected almost to completion in a single night, without warning, on August 13. Berend van de Seijp, Indonesia. The country's leadership, which had been in power for decades, had to be given in advance two-thirds of all parliamentary seats, while the remaining third could be freely contested. It seemed right and just even though I was just a nine year old boy with no idea in the world why a wall could be so much trouble. To which she replied "Oh, you can buy me a coffee at the Kranzler .... if I ever get over there" (ie to West Berlin). Consequently, he announced that citizens could now move freely across the border, and that this change would take effect immediately. Each took responsibility for a different part of the country. Would the Communists clamp down brutally as they did then? However, I was able to convince him that is was better to stay in the UK and continue our bicycle tour. Is the era of the Hollywood blockbuster over? On 9 November 1989, an announcement was scheduled regarding fairly minor changes to Berlin Wall’s emigration policy. | Mobile version, East Germany: A failed experiment in dictatorship, Gorbachev's policies of "glasnost" (openness) and "perestroika" (reform) were a clear break, Understanding East Germany: A never-ending look at the past, Uwe Rösler: German reunification 'came at the right time for me' as a footballer. When he read the note aloud for the first time, reporters were stunned. I remember watching the unfolding of the Iron Curtain when I was a teenager. I remember the broadcasts as the events developed rapidly across Eastern Europe, and the sense of excitement that prevailed in the mixed bag of nationalities that were listening with us. That morning we had joined a group for a guided tour of the Houses of Pariament with the opening ceremony of the House of Lords in the afternoon and listening to the Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd. We pay for your stories! "Malcolm Harrison, Canada. In effect, this meant that West Berlin became a lone capitalist outpost in the middle of communist East Germany. Variously sized bits of cement chipped off and fell. And then on 31 October, the numbers demanding democracy in East Germany swelled to half a million. This became the physical embodiment of the “Iron Curtain” which the USSR was said to have created between East and West Europe. But there was no intention to give way to democracy and Egon Krenz remained head of the Communist Party and the country's de facto leader. Jeff Ashman, US. This 27 mile barrier consisted of two concrete walls. 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. So every country decides on its own which road to take.". There were a lot of tears of joy flowing that evening, and no one could help but feel the emotions that filled the air. Thirty years after the Berlin Wall fell, "this desire for life in a freer society still exists." More than 1,000 people were killed in unrest before and after the revolution, setting Romania apart from the largely bloodless events elsewhere. Mr JÃ¤ger frantically called his superiors, but they gave no orders either to open the gate - or to open fire to stop the crowd. The historic Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. I was in East Berlin and East Germany in February 1989 and later that year in Hungary. Bizarrely, the wall ultimately came down in part because of a simple bureaucratic error. The course of history, however, was set in motion by decisive events outside the country long before that. They were despised by citizens loyal to the state, harassed by GDR authorities, and locked up in prison. A total 136 people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall during its existence. I was living in West Berlin when the wall came down, though I had family in the East who I frequently visited. Germany, having finally surrendered, was carved up into four parts, controlled respectively by the UK, the US, France and the Soviet Union. Just days before, either action might have meant arrest or even being shot. I still remember vividly my German neighbour saying to me (with tears running freely), "I never dreamt I would live to see this day". I was on a road journey to visit friends in Poland. BBC, you did a great [job] as the memories I have are of your coverage -thank you so much.Paul Bent, Ireland. There were calls for free elections from West Germany, and talk of reform from East Germany's new communist leader Egon Krenz. It was like spell had been broken, nothing would be the same again. Among those church representatives was Karol Jozef Wojtyla, who, as Pope John Paul II, openly displayed sympathy toward the Solidarity movement during the three trips he made to his homeland as pontiff. My friend was a teacher at the RAF Gatow school, he decided to bundle the kids on a bus and get them to hand out flowers at the crossing point. Soon after, on November 4, Berlin's Alexanderplatz became the site of the largest demonstration in the country's history. The Cold War, a global power struggle between dictatorship and democracy, ended in Berlin on November 9, 1989.