Although the Berlin Wall was officially dismantled in 1992 by the East German Border Troops, 9th November 1989 marks the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
For twenty-eight years, the Berlin Wall–a concrete structure–physically and ideologically severed East and West Germany. East Germany was a communist state that described itself as a socialist “workers’ and peasants’ state”. Whereas West Germany was a republic state that was run democratically. The states existed from 1949 to 1990, after which they got reunified.
In November 1989, East German authorities began allowing citizens to pass freely through border checkpoints. More than 2 million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin that weekend to participate in a celebration that was, one journalist wrote, “the greatest street party in the history of the world.”
The pivotal event not only ushered in the end of communism in Eastern and Central Europe but also symbolises the triumph of freedom and self-expression.
The movement of people smashed the divided ideologies of the States and allowed people to live as they wished.
What the Berlin Wall embodied was the communist vision of the individual as the property of the state. The East German government laid out a set of restrictions and rules that had to be abided. People were told where to live and work, what goods they could consume, and what enjoyment and entertainment were permissible. The state controlled all forms of media. People could never leave the country — unless it served the goals and interests of their political masters. If anyone attempted to leave without permission, they would face severe charges or would be shot dead.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall was, therefore, a moment that signalled the acquirement of freedom for East Germans. It essentially marked the right of people to travel freely and exercise rights that they previously did not.
Today, Berlin is characterised by radical self-expression.