The Wall Crumbles 

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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. 

Page maintained by Donna C. Van Handle.   Last modified on April 20, 2003.