The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago, on November 9, 1989.
It was a moment that shocked the world and marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War — culminating in the toppling of the East German communist dictatorship, the reunification of Germany in 1990, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
But the story of Mauerfall — which is how Germans refer to the fall of the Berlin Wall — is much more complicated and fascinating than many commonly recall today.
For one thing, the wall was felled peacefully, as the direct result of an East German bureaucrat misreading a memo about loosened travel restrictions.
Massive crowds of East Berliners soon rushed the border, expecting to finally be travel allowed to travel freely beyond the borders behind the Iron Curtain.
East German border guards who had been given no instructions of any change to the “shoot to kill” policy, meant to prevent anyone from escaping East Germany, decided not to murder their fellow citizens.
It was these border guards who decided to open the border, risking their lives, and effectively toppling the Berlin Wall.
Insider spoke with witnesses to this moment in history. Here’s what they had to say.
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics