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 Momentous Event: The Fall of the Berlin Wall

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

The Berlin Wall was a powerful symbol of the Cold War era and its fall in 1989 marked a turning point in world history. This concrete barrier, dividing the city of Berlin into East and West, had separated families, friends, and communities for almost three decades. In this article, we will explore the circumstances, events, and key players that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Historical Context

Following the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones controlled by the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. The capital city, Berlin, was similarly divided among the four occupying forces.

In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was established, while the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was formed in 1952. Ideological differences between the two sides became increasingly apparent, with West Germany embracing democracy and capitalism, while East Germany aligned itself with the Soviet Union’s communist ideals.

Construction of the Berlin Wall

Tensions between the East and West continued to escalate, prompting a significant wave of emigration from East Germany to the more prosperous West. To curb the mass exodus, the East German government decided to construct the Berlin Wall, officially known as the “Antifascist Protective Rampart,” on August 13, 1961. This physical barrier aimed to separate the Soviet-controlled East Berlin from the capitalist West Berlin.

Initially, the construction comprised barbed wire fences and barricades, but it was eventually reinforced with concrete walls, watchtowers, and guard dogs. The wall stretched for approximately 96 miles and was heavily fortified, making it almost impossible to breach.

The Movement Towards Change

Throughout the years, dissatisfaction with the East German regime grew. Economic struggles, political repression, and restricted personal freedoms fueled public unrest. Many East Germans sought opportunities in the West, leading to a continuous brain drain.

Towards the end of the 1980s, an era of reform began in the Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. His policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) had a profound impact in the Eastern Bloc, triggering demands for political change.

The Peaceful Revolution

In East Germany, a series of peaceful protests started building momentum. The Leipzig Monday Demonstrations, which took place on consecutive Mondays, attracted hundreds of thousands of participants demanding political reform and freedom of movement.

The peaceful protests reverberated across the country, with citizens from all walks of life taking to the streets. Artists, intellectuals, and ordinary citizens joined forces to voice their discontent with the oppressive regime.

Mass Emigration

Pressure on the East German government reached its peak in the summer of 1989. Thousands of East Germans fled to West Germany through neighboring Hungary, as the Hungarian government relaxed its border policies, allowing East Germans to cross into Austria and seek asylum.

The mass emigration directly weakened the East German regime, leading to further calls for change within the country.

The Opening of the Borders

On November 9, 1989, the East German government announced that it would allow citizens to travel freely to the West. This unexpected announcement came after a series of political missteps and pressure from both within the country and external forces. Günther Schabowski, a spokesman for the ruling party, mistakenly stated in a press conference that the border was open immediately, causing confusion and prompting East Berliners to head to the wall.

As the numbers grew, East German border guards, overwhelmed by the situation, eventually decided to open the gates. People started streaming through the once-forbidding wall, and celebrations erupted on both sides. This iconic moment, filled with joy and liberation, marked the symbolic end of the Berlin Wall.

The Aftermath

The fall of the Berlin Wall had far-reaching consequences, not only for Germany but for the world as a whole. Germany was officially reunified on October 3, 1990, and the two German states merged economically, politically, and socially. The collapse of the Eastern Bloc resulted in the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

The fall of the Berlin Wall represents the power of collective action, peaceful resistance, and the unyielding desire for freedom. It serves as a reminder that even seemingly insurmountable barriers can be overcome when people unite in pursuit of a common goal.

So, on this historic event’s anniversary, let’s remember the significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall as a defining moment in modern history.

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