Monday, November 9, 2009

20th Anniversary - The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Today is the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall. On November 9, 1989, the most potent symbol of the Cold War came down.

1989 was a year of change in Eastern Europe. The first free labor union was founded in Poland...Hungary opened its border with Austria...East Germany finally unraveled.

Then after the wall came down, Czechs and Slovaks took to the streets to demand reforms in Czechoslovakia in what became known as the Velvet Revolution.

By December 1989, the government was overthrown in Romania. Eventually, the communist parties in Bulgaria and Albania also ceded power.

I grew up in the USA during the Cold War. Who would have thought that I would one day live in Eastern Europe? It's amazing to think of how much the world has changed in the last 20 years.

My friend Claudia grew up in East Berlin. If the Berlin Wall had not come down then she probably would have never learned English, nor been an exchange student in Atlanta; much less work for IBM in the Czech Republic.

Update: The 25th anniversary.
Update: The 30th anniversary.

1 comment:

  1. thanks chris, cant tell u how strange this is for feels amazing...even though i was only 9 years old i remember so much...the feeling of my parents, my grandparents, even 20 years later my parents still have tears in their eyes talking about it...this is just so amazing!!! i would not be where i am, who i am, know who i know: friends family etc...