Berlin Wall

(redirected from Fall of the Berlin Wall)
Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to Fall of the Berlin Wall: cold war

Berlin Wall,

1961–89, a barrier first erected in Aug., 1961, by the East German government along the border between East and West Berlin, and later along the entire border between East Germany and West Germany. At first constructed of barbed wire, the wall was built to halt large numbers of defections and to prevent East Berliners from commuting to the West. Erected at a time of growing tension between East and West, the barrier was eventually replaced by a concrete structure topped with wire and studded with watchtowers manned by East German soldiers. In 1989, after hundreds of thousands of East Germans had fled westward via Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the beleaguered East German regime lifted travel restrictions on Nov. 9, and days later the dismantling of the wall began. Built to keep people in, the wall was dismantled in a failed gamble by the Communists to keep power. By Jan., 1990, the regime was auctioning off large slabs of the wall for hard currency, and had set December for its total demolition. In Oct., 1990, however, East Germany was formally absorbed into the Federal Republic of Germany and only short sections of the wall remained standing, as memorials.


See F. Taylor, The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961–1989 (2007); W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (2009).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The fall of the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Germany or the non-violent protests in then Czechoslovakia, known as the Velvet Revolution, brought an end to communist totalitarian regimes and began the ascension towards democracy.
Only a week ago we marked the fall of the Berlin Wall. Relations would develop not by constructing new fences and walls, but by increasing cooperation.a
While Europe celebrates the 25 anniversary since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we struggle for the past six months with the stubbornness of SDSM and their boycott in the Assembly.
GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel led celebrations yesterday marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, calling it an example of the human yearning for freedom.
Dubai: The fall of the Berlin wall confirmed that while Germany was a divided country, it never was a divided nation, Dr Eckhard Luebkemeier, German Ambassador to the UAE, said.
More than a million Germans and people from around the world on Sunday celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the event that more than any other marked the end of the Cold War.
Berlin, Muharram 16, 1436, Nov 9, 2014, SPA -- The release of about 7,000 white helium-filled balloons into the night sky over Berlin on Sunday brought to an end an emotional day marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, according to dpa.
Germany marks 25 years since the euphoric fall of the Berlin Wall Sunday with more than a million people expected to join tributes, festivities and an open-air party with freedom icons and rock stars.
"The fall of the Berlin wall enabled new bridges to be built between people.
Gorbachev spoke at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, close to the city's Brandenburg Gate.
The fall of the Berlin wall became an international symbol of hope.
While the fall of the Berlin Wall is certainly one of the most important historical events of the 20th Century, it is not of singular importance.