By the mid-1980s the wall had become synonymous
with Berlin and a future which Berliners had come to grudgingly accept.
By the late 1980's winds of political change blew
throughout Europe. President Ronald Reagan spoke in Berlin to the previously
unimaginable possibility of reunifying the two Germanies.
Here is the text he used to implore Soviet General
Secretary Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."
Reforms initiated within the GDR could not keep
pace with the population's demand for freedom. Mass demonstrations signaled
the beginning of the end of the socialist system in Germany.
Following the example of other countries in Eastern
Europe in 1989, the East German government lifted their restrictions on
travel to the West. Here, a caravan of East German Trabants streams into
West Berlin to jubilant cheers and handshakes from onlookers.
East and West Berliners euphorically mount the
Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in November 1989.
Following the fall of the Wall, a graffiti-Mickey
Mouse greets visitors to a new Berlin.
Both governments begin the long process of dismantling
the now-superfluous Wall.
East and West Germans alike savor the consummation
of their unification in front of the "Reichstag" building on October 3,
1990. This day becomes an annual national holiday.
The future for Germany and most other European
countries lies in the economic and cultural collaboration brought about
by the European Union.