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The Fall of Berlin Wall: Powerful Photos Show the Historic German Reunification in 1989

The Berlin Wall sliced East Berlin and West Berlin after World War II. It was built in 1961, by the Soviet-ruled East German Government to stop the people from fleeing to West Berlin. Millions of people moved to West in the hope of a better future. The wall stood for 28 years, and it divided families and took away basic human rights, keeping the population of East Berlin trapped inside Soviet territory. The 12 feet tall concrete wall was fortified with watchtowers, electric fences, and armed guards. Over five thousand people managed to cross the wall in three decades and more than 100 are believed to have been killed in the attempt.

As the 1980s were ending the communism in Europe was weakening and its grip on the Eastern block was slipping. The period is often also called the Fall of Communism. Revolutions in Poland and Hungary paved the way for massive demonstrations in East Germany, which ultimately resulted in the demise of the Wall. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government opened its borders with West Germany on November 9, 1989. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. They swarmed the wall, pulling parts of it down with hammers and machinery. The demolition of the Wall officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in November 1991.

Here below are some amazing photos that capture the historic moments of German reunification.

#1 West Berlin citizens celebrate in the eastern part of the Checkpoint Charlie border crossing in West Berlin, Nov. 9, 1989

West Berlin citizens celebrate in the eastern part of the Checkpoint Charlie border crossing in West Berlin, Nov. 9, 1989

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#2 People climb on the Berlin wall on Nov. 10, 1989.

People climb on the Berlin wall on Nov. 10, 1989.

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#3 A long row of East German Trabant cars passing through Checkpoint Charlie into West Berlin is greeted by enthusiastic West Berliners, 10th November 1989.

A long row of East German Trabant cars passing through Checkpoint Charlie into West Berlin is greeted by enthusiastic West Berliners, 10th November 1989.

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#4 Berliners sing and dance on top of The Berlin Wall to celebrate the opening of East-West German borders in this Nov. 10, 1989 file picture.

Berliners sing and dance on top of The Berlin Wall to celebrate the opening of East-West German borders in this Nov. 10, 1989 file picture.

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#5 East German border policemen, right, refuse to shake hands with a Berliner who stretches out his hand over the border fence at the eastern site nearby Checkpoint Charlie border crossing point on Nov. 10, 1989.

East German border policemen, right, refuse to shake hands with a Berliner who stretches out his hand over the border fence at the eastern site nearby Checkpoint Charlie border crossing point on Nov. 10, 1989.

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#6 In a giant cloud of exhaust fumes of two-stroke engines, hundreds of East German cars wait bumper to bumper in front of the West German checkpoint Helmstedt to enter the west, Nov. 11, 1989.

In a giant cloud of exhaust fumes of two-stroke engines, hundreds of East German cars wait bumper to bumper in front of the West German checkpoint Helmstedt to enter the west, Nov. 11, 1989.

In front of the eastern checkpoint, the cars wait in line for a distance of 30-40 kilometers, a West German policeman said. The ride from Berlin to Helmstadt (about 200 kilometers) would last about 11 hours.

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#7 Thousands of young East Berliners crowd atop the Berlin Wall, near the Brandenburg Gate (background) on November 11, 1989.

Thousands of young East Berliners crowd atop the Berlin Wall, near the Brandenburg Gate (background) on November 11, 1989.

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#8 Two West German policemen prevent people from approaching as East German Vopos stand on and near a fallen portion of the Berlin Wall 11 November 1989.

Two West German policemen prevent people from approaching as East German Vopos stand on and near a fallen portion of the Berlin Wall 11 November 1989.

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#9 West Berliners crowd in front of the Berlin Wall early 11 November 1989

West Berliners crowd in front of the Berlin Wall early 11 November 1989

They are watching people trying to demolish a section of the wall in order to open a new crossing point between East and West Berlin, near the Potsdamer Square.

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#10 East German border guards look through a hole in the Berlin wall after demonstrators pulled down one segment of the wall at Brandenburg gate in this November 11, 1989 file picture.

East German border guards look through a hole in the Berlin wall after demonstrators pulled down one segment of the wall at Brandenburg gate in this November 11, 1989 file picture.

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#11 A West Berlin policeman, right, and an East German border guard stand on ladders while talking over the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Nov. 11, 1989

A West Berlin policeman, right, and an East German border guard stand on ladders while talking over the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Nov. 11, 1989

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#12 East German border guards use a hose to discourage West Berliners near Brandenburg gate, in Berlin, Nov. 11, 1989.

East German border guards use a hose to discourage West Berliners near Brandenburg gate, in Berlin, Nov. 11, 1989.

The citizens from the west tried to demolish the wall, demanding it be pulled down.

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#13 East German border guards demolishing a section of the Berlin wall in order to open a new crossing point between East and West Berlin, 11 November 1989 at the border line near the Potsdamer Square.

East German border guards demolishing a section of the Berlin wall in order to open a new crossing point between East and West Berlin, 11 November 1989 at the border line near the Potsdamer Square.

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#14 A West Berliner prepares to hand over a FRG flag to East German Vopos through a portion of the fallen Berlin Wall near the Brandenbourg Gate early 11 November 1989.

A West Berliner prepares to hand over a FRG flag to East German Vopos through a portion of the fallen Berlin Wall near the Brandenbourg Gate early 11 November 1989.

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#15 Berliners confront with East German policemen atop the Berlin Wall early 11 November 1989, near the Potsdamer Square.

Berliners confront with East German policemen atop the Berlin Wall early 11 November 1989, near the Potsdamer Square.

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#16 An unidentified West Berliner swings a sledgehammer, trying to destroy the Berlin Wall near Potsdamer Platz, on November 12, 1989, where a new passage was opened nearby.

An unidentified West Berliner swings a sledgehammer, trying to destroy the Berlin Wall near Potsdamer Platz, on November 12, 1989, where a new passage was opened nearby.

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#17 East and West German Police contain the crowd of East Berliners flowing through the recent opening made in the Berlin wall at Potsdamer Square, on November 12, 1989.

East and West German Police contain the crowd of East Berliners flowing through the recent opening made in the Berlin wall at Potsdamer Square, on November 12, 1989.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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