|“A World Without Walls“:
An International Congress on "Soft Power", Cultural Diplomacy and Interdependence
(Berlin; November 6th - 9th, 2009)
"1989: The Year that Changed the World"
The Berlin Wall is No MoreFall of the Wall reunites East and West Berliners
Within hours, guards stationed at checkpoints around the Berlin Wall were overwhelmed with thousands of people trying to get into West Berlin. Spontaneous celebrations erupted as East Berliners were reunited with their loved ones and others in the West.
The next day, bulldozers began to dismantle large sections of the wall as more and more East Germans flood the border.
Outside the city, the mass exodus of East Germans out of the country intensifies, as up to 9,000 citizens a day flee the through Czechoslovakia and other neighboring countries.
Encouraged by the fall of the Berlin Wall, protests in East Germany increased significantly. A month prior, demonstrations in cities such as Dresden and Leipzig had helped force the resignation of GDR Leader Erich Honecker. His replacement, Egon Krenz, attempted to quell the unrest with a series of reforms, but to no avail.
In mid-November, up to a million people took part in a demonstration in East Berlin. They demanded that the government step down and free elections be held. They waved German flags and held up signs that say "Demokratie Jetzt!" (Democracy Now!)
Threes days later, the East German government resigned and East Germany began down the road to German Reunification with West Germany