Monday, November 9, 2009

This Day In History: The Wall Came Tumbling Down

Today marks the anniversary of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. It doesn't sound like much, right? What is the big deal about a fence coming down?

After World War II, Germany and its capital were divided and controlled by a number of countries (including the Soviet Union). The eastern portion of the country fell under communist rule, which prompted more than 2 million people to flee to West Germany. In 1961, a wall was constructed to prevent residents of East Berlin (and East Germany in general) from escaping communism by entering West Germany. Defectors risked being arrested or even shot for attempting to cross over the wall.

In 1989, when the communist leadership of East Germany was removed from power, East Germans were allowed to visit West Germany freely for the first time. Crowds went wild and eventually started chipping away at the wall. By 1990, construction equipment had removed the remaining remnants of the wall and Germany was reunified into one country.

To learn more about this symbol of the Cold War that divided a nation -- literally and psychologically -- for over 20 years, check out these NCC Library resources:

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989
by Fred Taylor
DD 881 .T39 2006 Stacks, Main and Monroe

Germany and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History
by Thomas Adam
E-BOOK (Online)

The Berlin Wall Crisis: Perspectives on Cold War Alliances
by John P. S. Gearson
E-BOOK (Online)

The Berlin Wall: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and a Showdown in the Heart of Europe
by Norman Gelb
DD 881 .G45 1987 Stacks

For many other books on German culture, World War II, Nazi Germany and more, try searching our Library catalog (SpartaCat).

Works Consulted:
"Berlin: Crowd on the Berlin Wall." Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 19 Oct. 2009 <>.

"Germany." 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 19 Oct. 2009 <>

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