Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Uniting a City, Uniting a Nation

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin


The fall of the Berlin Wall was an iconic event that took place on November 9, 1989. This historic moment marked the culmination of years of political change and social unrest in Germany. In this article, we will explore the events leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the impact it had on Germany and the world, and its continuing legacy today.

The Creation of the Berlin Wall

To understand the fall of the Berlin Wall, we must first look at its creation. After World War II, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation: American, British, French, and Soviet. The Soviet Union controlled the eastern part of Germany, which later became the German Democratic Republic (GDR). As tensions grew between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies, East Germans began fleeing to West Germany through Berlin, a city located entirely within East German territory.

To stem the flow of emigration, the East German government, with support from the Soviet Union, decided to construct a barrier. This barrier, known as the Berlin Wall, was a physical symbol of the Iron Curtain that separated the communist East from the democratic West. Construction of the wall began on August 13, 1961, and it effectively divided Berlin, families, and friends for nearly three decades.

Social and Political Climate

Throughout the 1980s, social and political unrest within East Germany grew exponentially. The GDR’s centrally planned economy struggled, leaving its citizens dissatisfied and longing for the freedoms enjoyed in the West. Peaceful protests demanding political reform and greater personal liberties gained momentum, especially among younger East Germans.

Political Reforms in the Soviet Union

The political landscape in the Soviet Union also played a significant role in the fall of the Berlin Wall. Under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union initiated a series of reforms known as perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness). These reforms aimed to modernize the Soviet economy and promote transparency and freedom of speech.

The winds of change blowing in the Soviet Union inspired East Germans to push for similar reforms within their own country. Pro-democracy movements gained traction, demanding more political participation and the opportunity for free and fair elections.

Mass Protests and the Fall of the Wall

By the late 1980s, the pressure for change had reached a tipping point. The government’s inability to address rising demands for reform led to mass demonstrations across East Germany. On November 4, 1989, more than half a million people gathered at Alexanderplatz in East Berlin, demanding democratic reforms, freedom of speech, and the ability to travel freely. The peaceful protests continued to grow in size and strength.

Harald Jäger and the Opening of the Wall

On the evening of November 9, 1989, a miscommunication by the East German government led to an unexpected announcement. Günter Schabowski, a member of the Politburo, stated in a press conference that new travel regulations would be implemented, allowing East Germans to travel freely. When asked when this would take effect, Schabowski mistakenly replied, “Immediately.” The news spread rapidly, and thousands of East Germans flocked to the Berlin Wall.

As the pressure from the crowd grew, the border guards became overwhelmed and unable to contain the situation. In a pivotal moment, Lieutenant Colonel Harald Jäger, a senior officer, ordered the opening of the checkpoints. East Berliners flooded through the newly opened border, reuniting with friends and family in the West. This unprecedented act marked the symbolic end of the Berlin Wall.

The Impact and Legacy

The fall of the Berlin Wall had profound effects, not only on Germany but on the global stage as well. It symbolized the end of the Cold War and the dismantling of the Iron Curtain. Germans from both sides embraced the opportunity for reunification, and efforts were made to heal the division that had plagued the country for decades.

Reunification of Germany

On October 3, 1990, Germany officially reunified. The process was not without its challenges, as the East struggled to adapt to the market economy of the West. Nevertheless, the reunification of Germany brought a sense of hope and optimism for a new era of democracy, freedom, and economic prosperity.

Symbol of Freedom and Unity

The fall of the Berlin Wall served as a powerful symbol of freedom and unity. It stood as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the desire for self-determination. Today, remnants of the wall can still be found in Berlin, serving as a reminder of the past and a symbol of hope for a more connected and peaceful future.


The fall of the Berlin Wall was a transformative event in history. It brought an end to the division of Berlin and Germany, symbolizing the triumph of freedom and democracy over oppression and tyranny. The events leading up to the fall of the wall, the mass protests, and the opening of the checkpoints all contributed to this historic moment. The impact continues to be felt today, reminding us of the power of unity and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free