Monday, November 5, 2012

And the Wall Comes Tumbling Down

That would be the Berlin Wall, in 1989.

A bit of background: The girls and I read about the Marshall Plan in Story of the World, volume 4, today. The chapter details how the Allied Powers divided Germany into two counties: West Germany as a democracy, to please England, France, and the United States; and East Germany as a communist state, to suit the Soviet Union.

Travel between the two countries was quite easy until the communists noticed a large dip in their population, particularly among the more educated set: doctors, university professors, lawyers, and the like. In 1961, in the middle of the night, a barbed wire fence was erected through the middle of Berlin. Overnight, families, friends, and neighbors were divided, prohibited from visiting one another. Over the years, a more permanent structure went up, a concrete wall 14 feet high.

But in 1989, that wall came down.

I remember this event. I recall watching on TV the jubilant Germans dancing in the streets, chiseling away at the wall, hugging one another and crying. So I immediately thought: YouTube.

There are quite a few short videos of such celebrations, some TV news reports, and some longer documentaries available on YouTube. Tiny Girl and I watched several. She herself watched a 40-odd-minute documentary and enjoyed it very much. Here's the link.

As always, do not turn your children loose on YouTube. Comments are not mediated, and foul language abounds. But what a wonderful resource for recent historical events!


  1. The Berlin wall went up in my lifetime - just - and came down on my 30th birthday.
    I watched with friends at a time in my life when I had a very special group of friends - we celebrated with the jubilant German people.
    A decade previously, I lived in Germany, and 'reunification' was a distant dream.
    It's strange to get old enough to realise you are living in history.

  2. I remember that as well. I've never been to Berlin, but my husband had been, and had visited East Berlin, and so the significance was very real for him.

  3. So many great links on your blog, Ellen. Thanks for this link as well!


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