November 9, 1989: The Berlin Wall Comes Down

Twenty-five years ago–November 9, 1989–the barrier known officially as the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart by East Germany–stopped being a wall.  Through a series of unprecedented and sometimes confusing events, the East German government declared it legal for citizens of the east to travel to the west unimpeded.  Thousands of Germans from both sides swarmed the wall that had cut their city in two since the summer of 1961. The Iron Curtain had been breached.

There are still sections of the Wall standing in Berlin, but only for historical reasons. Shops across the city offer cement chunks of the 155 km Wall as souvenirs (I bought one, of course). Traveler can follow a brass line embedded in the pavement that traces where it used to stand through Potsdamer Platz.

Roger Waters took Pink Floyd’s The Wall to the place where things used to stand in 1990.

Peter Gabriel will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a performance at the Brandenberg Gate, performing his version of David Bowie’s “Heroes” at 6pm local time.  Here’s what to expect. More details here.

I’ve put together a Berlin/Berlin Wall-related playlist on Rdio. Check it out. And does anyone else remember “Dancing in East Berlin” from Hamilton’s The Hush?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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