German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the United States for a & # 39; mutually respectful partner & # 39; and to reject nationalism, as Germany marks 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Steinmeier recalls the key role of the United States in helping to bring down the hated Wall that separates communist East Germany from the capitalist West, and said he still hears the screams of late American President Ronald Reagan: & # 39; tear down this wall & # 39; at the iconic Brandenburg Gate.
As he spoke, hundreds of thousands of people celebrating the jubilee stood along the streets of the city to see live performances and spotlights illuminating the Brandenburg Gate.
In a swipe about Trump & # 39; s America First policy and his insistence on building a wall on the southern border with Mexico, Steinmeier expressed a desire for a return of the transatlantic partner from the past.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the crowd at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the BRandenburg Gate in Berlin
Steinmeier gives a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, where the celebration of the 30th anniversary takes place
People gather tonight for a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Visitors are under skynet artwork & # 39; Visions In Motion & # 39; in front of the Brandenburg Gate while they attend the presentations
The Brandenburg Gate is flooded with light as people gather there for a ceremony on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
Daniel Barenboim conducts for hundreds of thousands of people during a performance in the Brandenburg Gate
& # 39; This America as a mutually respectful partner, as a partner for democracy and freedom, against national egoism – I hope so in the future, & # 39; Steinmeier said.
The sharp words of the German president, when he opened festivities where Reagan once stood, underlined the growing tensions between the traditional allies.
Germany has been deeply confused by Trump's desolate attitude on issues ranging from Iranian nuclear policy to trade with Europe and climate change.
From Washington, Trump sent a congratulatory message for the commemoration and added that the US will continue to work with Germany, one of our dearest allies, to ensure that the flames of freedom burn as a beacon of hope and opportunity for the entire world . & # 39;
People are watching a light projection showing pro-democracy protests in East Germany in 1989
People are watching a light projection showing pro-democracy protests in East Germany in 1989
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer attend the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Merkel itself comes from East Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer at the public show on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
But unlike optimism at earlier commemorations of the groundbreaking event on November 9, 1989, which caused the Communist regime to collapse three decades later, the mood has weakened now that the Western alliance that contributed to securing the liberal democracy is full of divisions .
A gap has also been created in Germany where the extreme right has acquired a strong position in the former communist east, thanks to the nationalist and anti-immigration message.
For Steinmeier, & # 39; a new wall has been created that cuts through our country – a wall of frustration, a wall of anger and hatred & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Walls that are invisible but that share. Walls that stand in our way, & he warned, calling on the Germans to & # 39; finally knock down these walls & # 39 ;.
Steinmeier's speech came before a series of concerts, including one from the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
People gather for the jubilee ceremony in front of an illuminated Brandenburg Gate. The TV tower of the city is visible on the left
The German rapper Trettman will perform during the celebration at the Brandenburg Gate on November 9
Dancers perform during a ceremony on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
Many turned out to be celebrating the historic moment and visitors watched a light projection at the Brandenberg Gate with demonstrations of pro-democracy in East Germany in 1989
Many turned out to be celebrating the historic moment and visitors watched a light projection at the Brandenberg Gate with pro-democracy protests in East Germany in 1989. Artists including the German rapper Trettman also performed during the celebrations.
Central European presidents were at the head of official ceremonies on Saturday alongside Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for their & … 39 contribution to the peaceful revolution & # 39; that led to the fall of the communist regime.
Elsewhere in Germany, at a formerly reinforced border crossing between East and West Germany in the village of Moedlareuth, there was an art installation that illuminated the former border demarcation.
Angela Merkel previously urged Europe to & # 39; democracy and freedom, human rights and tolerance & # 39; to defend, as Germany marks a crucial moment in the events that brought down communism in Eastern Europe.
Merkel told political leaders and European guests at a ceremony that such values must always be "lived and defended," warning that they could not be taken for granted.
A control tower of the former GDR border guard at a former fortified border crossing between East and West Germany in Moedlareuth
Elsewhere in Germany, at the former fortified border crossing between East and West Germany in the village of Moedlareuth, there was an art installation that illuminated the former border demarcation.
An art installation that illuminates the former border boundary between East and West Germany
The Chancellor spoke in the Atonement Chapel on the former & # 39; death strip & # 39; who walked along the wall and said that the barrier that separated the communist east from the democratic west & # 39; history & # 39; used to be.
The German Chancellor, who grew up in East Germany, greeted members of the public when she arrived on Bernauer Strasse to symbolically place a rose in a standing part of the wall.
The festivities in Berlin end with a celebration in the Brandenburg Gate & # 39; evening with the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra directed by Daniel Barenboim.
Leaders from Germany and other European countries attend ceremonies in Berlin on Saturday and recall the peaceful protests that put pressure on the East German government to give its citizens free access to the West on November 9, 1989.
28 years after its construction in August 1961 to stop a flood of shortcomings in the democratic West, East Germany was about 40 percent lower in productivity when it went bankrupt than in West Germany.
On the night of November 9, 1989, an error was made by a government spokesperson who claimed that journeys between East and West immediately & # 39; hundreds of thousands led to the crossing when parts of the wall around them were demolished.
Angela Merkel has urged Europe to & # 39; democracy & # 39; and & # 39; freedom & # 39; to defend, since Germany today marks 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, symbolically marking the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Union
Chancellor Merkel, who arrived at the most important memorial on Bernauer Strasse in the north of the city, stuck a rose in a part of the wall that divided the city for 28 years and still stands today
People from East Germany greet citizens of West Germany at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on December 22, 1989. On November 9, Gunter Schabowski, the Communist party boss of East Berlin, stated that East Germans could leave the country from midnight without permission
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives with an umbrella for a gloomy audience while attending the central commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall
European leaders arrive at a section of the Berlin wall for a symbolic placement of flowers in a standing section of the Cold War relic
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and director of the Berlin Wall Axel Klausmeier (center right) walk to the Chapel of Reconciliation, where she told assembled politicians and guests that democratic values must always be lived and defended again, warning that they could not be taken for granted
The public is invited to put flowers in the remains of the Berlin Wall. After the partial destruction in 1989, parts of the wall were prominently used as canvas for art installations, such as in the West Side Gallery
The presidents of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary joined the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Visegard Four monument, which commemorates the country's help with the unification of Germany
West Berliners crowded in front of the Berlin wall early November 11, 1989 as they watched East German border guards demolish part of the wall to open a new intersection between East and West Berlin, near Potsdamer square
The presidents of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary joined the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier earlier today at the Visegard Four monument, which commemorates the country's help with the unification of Germany.
& # 39; Together with our friends, we remember the events 30 years ago with great gratitude, & # 39; Steinmeier said during a ceremony at the Bernauer Strasse Berlin wall monument, which was also attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel and heads of state from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
& # 39; Without the courage and the will of freedom from the Poles and Hungarians, the Czechs and Slovaks, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany would not have been possible & # 39 ;, said Steinmeier.
During the ceremony, Steinmeier and the presidents of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic placed roses in a small opening in the remains of the wall near the monument.
In August 1989, for the first time, Hungarian border guards allowed people from East Germany to cross freely to Austria, paving the way for the fall of the Berlin wall three months later and thus the end of the Iron Curtain.
However, Steinmeier pointed out that the historical event is not the & # 39; end of history & # 39; as the American historian Francis Fukuyama stated. The struggle of political systems had continued and the future was more uncertain than ever before, he added.
& # 39; Liberal democracy is being challenged and questioned & # 39 ;, Steinmeier said. That is why Germany and its European allies had to fight every day for a peaceful and united Europe, with each country contributing to overcome the differences, he added.
His message was repeated by Merkel in a short speech during a memorial service in the memorial chapel.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel places a symbolic candle at a memorial in front of the Berlin wall
A man adds his candle to hundreds of lights on the Berlin Wall monument dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Cold War in Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel shakes hands with the public at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (center) attends the celebration of the 30th anniversary, together with his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman
Leaders from Germany and other European countries attend ceremonies in Berlin on Saturday and recall the peaceful protests that put pressure on the East German government to give its citizens free passage to the West on November 9, 1989
& # 39; The values on which Europe is founded – freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, respect for human rights – are anything but self-evident. And they must be filled with life and must be defended again and again, & she said.
On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that her leadership style was partly shaped by her upbringing in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).
& # 39; for 35 years I experienced the official opinion as different from mine &, said Merkel to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, referring to the communist leadership of the former East Germany.
& # 39; I was alone with my opinion or shared it with very few people. That's why I don't mind if others see things differently. & # 39;
& # 39; Life in the GDR was sometimes almost comfortable in some way, because there were things that you simply couldn't influence. & # 39;
Apart from the cracks that are popping up in the global arena, a new gap is opening in Germany itself, with the extreme right gaining a strong position in the former communist states.
Merkel himself underlined the problem and said that those who thought that the differences between the former Communist East and the Capitalist West could be eliminated sooner saw that & # 39; it would take half a century or more & # 39 ;.
Debate has also become more intense about the differences between the east and the west, as & # 39; nationalist and protectionist trends have gained global popularity, sparking more discussion to also form a national perspective & # 39 ;, Merkel told Sueddeutsche Zeitung .
& # 39; The values on which Europe is founded – freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, respect for human rights – are anything but self-evident. And they must be filled with life and must be defended again and again, & Merkel said.
Young people demonstrate with banners for freedom in the world and in Europe on the sidelines of the central commemoration, with one reading: & # 39; We want Europe to once again be the radiant face of daring, humor and freedom for the whole world & # 39;
The French chocolate maker Patrick Roger (left) and one of his co-workers break a wall that he has made with chocolate to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall
Amid the gloomy mood, a serious political program is planned for Saturday, with Central European presidents to lead the official ceremonies
On November 9, 1989, East German border guards, overwhelmed by large crowds, opened the gates to West Berlin, allowing free passage for the first time since construction.
The memorable event would overthrow the communist regime and lead to German reunification a year later.
Blunder who tore down the Berlin Wall: Thirty years later, minute by minute report of the day border guards were caught emptying a waitress, a young Angela Merkel walked into history and a lazy dress that set everything in motion
On August 13, 1961, the government of East Germany ordered the border with West Berlin to be sealed. The reason? Too many of his citizens left for more prosperous West Germany.
On a day the previous week, nearly 2,000 had left the German Democratic Republic (GDR) for good.
Berliners on both sides cried while 7,000 soldiers erected barricades and barbed wire, blocked nearly 200 roads, and closed doors and windows in apartment buildings on the border. The 96-mile wall that followed became the most powerful symbol of the Cold War.
But in 1989 East Germany was on the verge of bankruptcy, its productivity 40 percent lower than in West Germany. And, like glasnost – the openness policy of Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev – the East German Politburo, the executive body of its Communist Party, was under increasing pressure to reform.
When Gorbachev visited the GDR in October 1989, protesters shouted on the street: & # 39; Gorby, help us! Gorby, help us! & # 39;
Confusion: East German border guards are standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate when the wall begins to be broken
November 9, 1989
Day 10,316 of the Berlin Wall. This is the fourth version of the structure that divides the city; it currently consists of concrete sections that were originally designed for storing liquid manure on East German farms.
Since 1961, more than 5,000 people have successfully escaped from the GDR – half of East German border guards. But 138 people died in an attempt to flee to freedom.
The west side of The Wall is covered with graffiti and one of the most prominent slogans is: & # 39; Die Mauer Muss Weg & # 39; – & # 39; The Wall Must Go & # 39 ;.
It is a mild fall in autumn in Berlin and the smell of sulfur from the crumbling East German factories is in the air. Under the feet of the GDR guards who make their regular morning patrols are the remains of more than 40 escape tunnels.
East German border guards watch as the wall is broken. It is estimated that three million East Germans visited West Berlin within three days of breaking the wall
Some were made by West Germans trying to save friends and relatives, but most started in the East, dug by people of all ages.
In May 1962, for 16 days, a group of 12 people, mainly East German pensioners, sought their way to freedom. Their tunnel was 104 feet long and almost 6 feet high. When asked why it was that long, one of the escaped people said: & # 39; We wanted to walk with our women to freedom, comfortably and without being bent. & # 39;
8 o'clock in the morning
For Germans, morning-to-work traffic starts on both sides of the wall. West Berlin has smart shops and well-lit streets, while East Berlin commuters walk past bomb sites and buildings are still littered with World War II bullet holes.
Since the border with Czechoslovakia was opened on November 1, East Germany has been praying people through that route to reach West Germany.
In East Berlin, hospitals are short of doctors and some schools are closed because so many teachers have left their jobs.
This morning, the GDR newspaper Neues Deutschland begs its readers: & # 39; We beg you, stay in our home country, stay with us. & # 39;
In the Ministry of the Interior building, close to the most famous of the seven border crossings, Checkpoint Charlie, four officials meet to prepare new travel rules on behalf of the East German Politburo to tackle the exodus via Czechoslovakia.
At the East German Communist Party headquarters, the leaders agree with the new regulations; trips are allowed to West Germany, but only after an application has been submitted. Visas with a passport are granted for visits of a maximum of 30 days.
The government knows that only a small part of the population has a passport and that a new one needs a processing time of at least a month. They expect orderly rows & # 39; to start in the morning at passport offices. The wall remains closed.
East German leader Egon Krenz hands over the new travel policy document to Gunter Schabowski, the government's spokesperson. He will inform the public about the new rules during a live press conference tonight.
Krenz is convinced that the new system will prevent mass exodus and guarantee some state control.
& # 39; Here, friend, this is something that will do us a power of good & # 39 ;, says Krenz.
The large room in the international press center of East Berlin is full of media from all over the world. Schabowski welcomes everyone, but he is tired and distracted.
He was not in the meeting of the Communist Party leaders this afternoon and did not read the entire document – he only reads it in the car on his way here.
Schabowski is not aware of the vital waiting time while applications are being processed.
He has an arrogant attitude to his daily press conferences and believes that the only qualities you need are & # 39; are able to speak German and read a text without errors & # 39 ;. The press conference starts with boring news about the latest ministerial appointments and administrative reforms.
Government spokesman Gunter Schabowski on November 9, 1989 in the international press center of East Berlin
At Checkpoint Charlie, East German guards use binoculars to look at an attractive waitress serving coffee and beer at Cafe Adler on the other side of the border. It is part of their daily routine.
Astrid Benner, 29, knows she's being watched, but doesn't mind – she even feels sorry for them. & # 39; There it was so sad, & # 39; she said, looking back many years later.
Schabowski is finally turning to the new travel policy. Sweating under the television lights, he describes it as well as he can.
& # 39; We have decided today to introduce a regulation that allows every citizen of the GDR to leave the GDR via one of the border crossings. & # 39;
Journalists ask questions as to whether that means going without a passport and – crucially – when it comes into effect. Schabowski scratches his head and shuffles through his papers. & # 39; As far as I know, that will take effect immediately. & # 39;
A German journalist asks: & # 39; Does that also apply to West Berlin? & # 39;
Schabowski shrugs and reads from the document: & # 39; Permanent exit can take place via all border crossings from the GDR to the FRG and West Berlin. & # 39;
The Berlin Wall was opened by accident – earlier than the Politburo intended.
& # 39; It was a simple cock-up & # 39 ;, a party official said later.
At the end of the press conference, at the largest of the border crossings, the responsible officer, Lieutenant Colonel Harald Jager, calls against the television: & # 39; Bull ****! & # 39; Enraged by Schabowski's incorrect statements.
Jager is part of the Ministry of State Security, the Stasi, and he calls his boss, Colonel Rudi Ziegenhorn, at the operational headquarters to find out what is going on.
Thousands of people from the east and west of Berlin celebrate the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 11, 1989
Ziegenhorn tells him that nothing has changed. But Jager, who started working as a border police officer at the age of 18 and had helped build The Wall, is convinced that something important is about to happen.
The headline of the Associated Press news agency reads: & # 39; The GDR is opening its borders. & # 39;
With a remarkable speed, 80 East Berliners arrive at the checkpoints in Invalidenstrasse, Heinrich-Heine-Strasse and Bornholmer Strasse and ask the guards for permission to cross the border.
They are told that they need a passport and a visa and that they will come back tomorrow.
In Checkpoint Charlie's Cafe Adler, waitress Astrid hears the news on the radio and calls the cafe owner, Albrecht Rau. & # 39; You must come here because I am all alone and thousands of people can come at any time! This is the first place they will reach! & # 39;
In East Berlin, a democracy campaign called Aram Radomski walks into a bar where he knows his friends will be.
He has just watched the press conference on television and wants to test what Schabowski & # 39; s expression & # 39; s immediately & # 39; means.
He encourages them to go immediately to the nearest border crossing. Only his co-campaigner Siggi Schefke agrees to come.
Radomski shouts when they leave: & # 39; If we are not back in two hours, we will be in the West! & # 39;
At Checkpoint Charlie, café Adler owner Albrecht carries a tray of coffee, sparkling wine and glasses to the East German guards. Astrid and some of his customers came with him to offer support.
As they cross the painted white line between East and West, two GDR guards come out of their huts. Astrid offers them champagne, but they say she has to go back.
She says: & # 39; But we have to celebrate this exciting day, don't you want to celebrate with us? & # 39;
They answer: & # 39; No, no, we don't want that, please go back. & # 39;
Albrecht and Astrid retreat across the line and share a drink with the West Berliners who have looked at their bold gesture.
West German television channel ARD announces that & # 39; this is a historic day & # 39 ;. The newsreader Hanns Joachim Friedrichs jumps with the gun and says: & # 39; The GDR opens its limits. The gates in the Berlin Wall are open. & # 39;
At the Bornholmer Strasse junction the number of people is now in the hundreds and things are strained.
Lieutenant Colonel Jager is concerned that his men are shooting into the crowd or that the crowd is trying to grab their weapons.
He has no idea what happens at the other border crossings, because only the Stasi head office can communicate with all seven checkpoints.
The East German Government Politburo meeting that started this afternoon finally ends. They have no idea what happened at the Schabowski press conference or what is happening at the border.
9 o'clock in the evening
Democracy campaigners Radomski and Schefke are on Bornholmer Strasse and demand loudly, along with dozens of others, to be allowed to pass. They have Western money with them in case they are successful.
In the nearby barracks, Lieutenant Colonel Jager calls to Stasi's headquarters and asks again what to do. They tell him to pull the most aggressive members out of the crowd and let them go to the West, and this the & # 39; steam drainage solution & # 39; calls.
Jager is skeptical, but agrees to implement the plan. Radomski and Schefke are among those who have been plucked from the crowd and stamped their papers. The stamp is deliberately placed over their photo ID – making their citizenship invalid. This is also part of the & # 39; let-off steam solution & # 39; – a trick to keep troublemakers out.
While Radomski and Schefke go to the West, they do not realize that they are no longer East German citizens.
Now in West Berlin a bewildered Radomski and Schefke are jumping in a taxi. The driver can see from his old-fashioned clothing that he is from the east and tries to kick them out because their currencies are worthless. They hastily produce their western tones.
Radomski and Schefke ask to be taken to the house of a friend of Schefke, whom he met in Hungary. They pay the driver and tell him: & # 39; Go back to that bridge, you'll make a lot of money tonight! & # 39;
The telephone rings constantly in the American cabin at Checkpoint Charlie. It's in the phone book and radio and television stations around the world want to know what's going on.
The most popular request to the guards is: & # 39; Tell us what you can see through the window. & # 39;
The Americans can see about 1,000 people on their side of the border and about 100 on the other side. The DDR guards push them away from the white line.
West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has just finished a state dinner on the first day of a six-day visit to Poland.
Rumors of the chaos in Berlin have reached him and he calls his media advisor Eduard Ackermann in Bonn, who says excitedly: & # 39; Mr. Chancellor, as we speak, The wall is falling! & # 39;
& # 39; Are you sure? & # 39; Kohl says and asks Ackermann if he has been drinking.
The & # 39; steam removal solution & # 39; goes seriously wrong; it is only encouraging people to call more aggressively to let through.
An East German couple who only wanted a quick look at West Berlin has returned to return to their children who sleep quickly at home. But their ID & # 39; s are stamped on their photo and the border guards refuse to pass them.
Unable to appease the distraught parents, the guards summon Lieutenant Colonel Jager, who tells the couple that he will make an exception in their case, and let them through.
Jager is becoming increasingly disillusioned with what he is being asked to do.
Stasi official Erich Mielke calls GDR leader Krenz to inform him about the chaos of The Wall.
Krenz faces a choice: close the border by bringing in tanks or opening the checkpoints to let things go their way. He decides not to do anything.
Since 7 November, the Stasi has been burning sensitive documents, especially documents that identify their large network of informers among the East German population.
In Warsaw, Chancellor Kohl toasts the news from home with the only available wine, a gift from the Poles for a bottle of Crimean sparkling wine, the Soviet equivalent of champagne.
The state-run East German television news appeals to those citizens who want to travel to the first passport and registration office and submit an official application.
& # 39; Travel must be requested! & # 39; says the presenter.
But most viewers are tuned to West German television to find out what is going on. Dozens of dirty and unreliable cars from Trabant and Wartburg have been left in the streets around the border with running engines.
The East German army is very alert. Meanwhile, at Checkpoint Charlie, the bustle on the west side has become so great that every move is impossible, but the US border regiments decide not to evacuate the area.
As an officer says: & # 39; We just have to let this happen. This is a moment for the German people. & # 39;
half past eleven
The part of the wall at the Brandenburg Gate has a wide, flat top instead of barbed wire, so that East Germans can clamber on top of it, their risky exploits illuminated by television camera's lights.
Dozens of people dance and sing, welcomed by others wearing pajamas and dressing gowns.
Lieutenant Colonel Jager has seen enough at the border crossing on Bornholmer Strasse.
Thousands of his fellow citizens sing: & # 39; Open the gate! Open the gate! & # 39; Someone is pushing one of his customs officers who immediately pushes them back.
Although people shout: & # 39; No violence! No violence! & # 39; Jager is increasingly concerned that his men are being attacked, so he calls his commander, Colonel Ziegenhorn, and tells him bluntly: "I'm going to end all controls and let the people out."
Ziegenhorn protests, but Jager hangs up and orders the gate to be opened.
As two of his men begin to push the barrier, the crowd rushes forward and does the work for them. Some walk, but many run to the West where they are met by outstretched arms by West Berliners.
East German leader Krenz is on the phone with the official government spokesman, Schabowski, whose press conference was the cause of the evening's historical events. Krenz reassures him: & # 39; Those who leave today will return. & # 39;
On Bornholmer Strasse, Lieutenant Colonel Jager is almost in tears as he watches the crowd flow past him west. One of his guards, Helmut Stoss, thinks: & # 39; Why have I been standing here for twenty years? & # 39;
At Checkpoint Charlie, people on both sides of the barrier call to each other.
In the east they shout: & # 39; Let's go! Let us go! & # 39; and in the West they answer: & # 39; Come! Come! Come! & # 39;
In Cafe Adler, waitress Astrid hears the screams and sees the impotent DDR guards looking at the crowd with their binoculars.
& # 39; They didn't know what to do, but just kept doing it & # 39 ;, she says.
Gunter Moll, the officer on the GDR side, walks to the pedestrian gate and says businesslike: & # 39; Open it. & # 39;
November 10, 1989
Lieutenant Colonel Jager calls his wife and tells her that he will not be home until tomorrow morning because he has opened the checkpoint. & # 39; You're kidding! & # 39; she laughs.
In Cafe Adler, a man bursts into shouting: & # 39; I'm the first! I'm the first! & # 39; All customers are bursting with applause. He asks Astrid if she will mark his hand with the ink stamp that all cafes put on their bills once they are paid; he needs proof that he has actually been to the West.
After drinking a beer, the man proudly leaves with a stamp on the back of his hand with the text: & # 39; Cafe Adler Friedrichstrasse 206 1000 Berlin 61 Tel: 030/2518965 & # 39 ;.
At the Brandenburg Gate, East German guards run a fire hose on the people on top of the wall.
The snake is not very powerful because it is full of holes, but most soaked revelers are forced down. A young man with an umbrella remains challenging.
At the Sonnenallee checkpoint, the guards call the Stasi headquarters to say that they & # 39; open everything & # 39 ;.
All border crossings are now open.
The American guards at Checkpoint Charlie watch the East Berliners approach the white line, pause and take a deep breath as they cross.
One of the many thousands of East Germans who have crossed the border is a 35-year-old woman named Angela Merkel.
She was on her way home from the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry when she heard the news. Merkel goes to a telephone booth to call her family to tell them she's in West Berlin.
Angela Merkel will become Chancellor of a united Germany in 16 years.
Café Adler is closed because it runs out of beer and champagne. Sightseers come from Denmark and Austria to participate in this historic moment. The streets are full of people playing music from radios and tape machines, blowing Alpine horns and sharing coffee bottles.
One of the most popular songs being played is Looking For Freedom by American actor David Hasselhoff, who was number one in West Germany for eight weeks earlier that year.
Next month, on New Year's Eve, Hasselhoff will sing the song suspended from a crane high above the Brandenburg Gate while being cheered on by a huge crowd.
East Berliners walk through one of West Berlin's main shopping streets, Kurfurstendamm, in a trance, amazed by the exhibited goods.
The people from the GDR are easy to recognize in their normal shoes and old-fashioned coats and hats.
Meanwhile, the Stasi has had enough of the people around the Brandenburg Gate and is calling in army reserves to help them clean up.
In Potsdamer Platz, Berliners hear the sound of electric drills and sledge hammers on the west side of the wall. Soon holes appear in the concrete.
Hundreds of Berliners from both East and West arrive with hammers and chisels to get their own souvenir from the Cold War and deserve the nickname & # 39; wallpeckers & # 39 ;.
The watchtowers on the wall are now empty.
In London, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is holding an improvised press conference outside of Downing Street.
A television reporter asks for her reaction to the events in Berlin. She answers: & # 39; I think it's a great day for freedom.
& # 39; I watched the scenes on television last night and again because I thought you should not only hear about them, but also see them because you see the joy on people's faces and you see what freedom means to them; it makes you realize that you cannot suppress or suppress people's desire for freedom and I hope they are a prelude to the coming Berlin wall. & # 39;
Mrs. Thatcher was horrified privately by scenes in the West German parliament the previous evening, when politicians were all singing Deutschland Uber Everything when they heard the news from Berlin.
New graffiti has already appeared on the wall. & # 39; Die Mauer Muss Weg & # 39; – & # 39; The Wall Must Go & # 39; has been replaced by & # 39; Die Mauer Ist Weg & # 39; – & # 39; The Wall Is Gone & # 39 ;.
In East Berlin, the Stasi is preparing a report with complaints from its border guards. A guard simply said: & # 39; I no longer understand the world. & # 39;
It is estimated that three million East Germans visited West Berlin within three days of breaking the wall.
Change came quickly. In July 1990 East Germans started using the German mark as their currency and on 3 October of that year the country was reunited.
Some parts of The Wall were sold as contemporary art at an auction and hundreds of tons were used as rubble in road construction.
Within two years there were only a few small parts left that were preserved as monuments.
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) news (t) Berlin (t) Germany (t) Angela Merkel