The Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989

On the 9th of November, 1989, the Border separating Western from Eastern Germany was effectively opened. The following days were most unusual for the whole of Germany - considering the usual German ways, one could almost speak of anarchy: Shops stayed open as long as they wanted (the usual, mandatory closing time was 6:30pm in 1989), a GDR passport served as a free ticket for public transport, and in general there were more exceptions than rules in those days.

Of course, Berlin was in the focal point of these changes. The Fall of the Berlin Wall, which will always be used as a symbol for the end of the Cold War, made the "West" available in the middle of the "East", resulting in widespread chaos.

Later - much later - normality took hold again. Later, the bickering started, and later, there was talk of a "wall in the heads". But during the November of 1989, almost everyone was overwhelmed by happiness - a national and emotional exception.

The 9th of November was a Thursday in 1989, and I was still at school. But on Friday, I managed to get a seat on a flight to Berlin, and I stayed there for the weekend. I didn't get back before Monday noon, and by that time I had missed a test in History - but what History teacher wouldn't accept the excuse I had?

I don't have much of a story to tell (others have done that already); I only want to publish the raw material I've collected. There are about 60 photographs (they can be downloaded in resolutions up to 3072x2048) which I shot on that weekend, and in addition there are over 70 articles from German newspapers (November 13 and 14). Most of the articles are available in their original German and in a translated or at least summarized English version, but some still lack translation. If you feel that you can translate something from German to English, just pick one of the articles that doesn't have a translation and do it - I'll gladly put your translation up here on my site, with credits and all.

Have fun!

Photo tours

For a start, I suggest you take my small three-piece Day tour which contains a selection of the best photos and links to some newspaper articles. There's also a list of readers' comments on what I've written.


Here are complete lists (without further annotations):

Search the full article text


Others and external links


External Links

Newspapers from which I took the articles

  Frederik Ramm, 2005-09-05