How Margaret Thatcher pleaded with Gorbachev not to let the Berlin Wall fall out of london - OPINION. Hasan Suroor The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was hailed in the West as a seminal moment in its “struggle” against Communism and sparked a wave of euphoria. But, it has now emerged, that behind those euphoric public pronouncements there were deep anxieties in most European capitals, especially in London and Paris. Indeed, neither Margaret Thatcher, the then British Prime Minister, nor French President Francois Mitterrand wanted the wall to come down as they feared that a unified Germany would be a “threat” to European security. Mrs. Thatcher was so concerned that two months before the fall of the wall she travelled to Moscow to plead with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to intervene and stop the break-up of East Germany. East Germans may have arrived in West Berlin hours before previously thought. Until recent weeks, Harald Jaeger, a Stasi officer at Bornholmer Strasse in north Berlin, held the undisputed mantle of the man who peacefully breached the Berlin Wall.
But now Heinz Schafer, who was a colonel in the East German army in 1989, has declared that he was the first to open the barriers, at Waltersdorf in the far south of the city. Col Schafer, a 78 year-old who lives in a bleak suburb not far from the former crossing, only put forward his account in a talk to schoolgirls earlier this year. "I almost choked on my soup," he said. "We tried to control the situation, but within a few hours it was too dangerous. I rang my superiors to say I could not hold the crowd any longer and hung up before there was a reply. " The Guard Who Opened the Berlin Wall: 'I Gave my People the Order. November 09, 2009 03:48 PM SPIEGEL: When you saw the news conference in which the opening of the East German border was announced at 18:54 on Nov. 9, what went through your mind?
Jäger: I thought, "what's he going on about? " He's reading something off and doesn't have any idea what the impact's going to be. He himself seemed very surprised at what he was saying, like someone who was reading it for the first time. Berlin Wall: Was the Fall Engineered by the GDR? Twenty years ago, a question posed by Italian journalist Riccardo Ehrmann prompted an East German official to say the words that triggered the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Now new facts have emerged that shed a different light on that fateful press conference. How an accident caused the Berlin Wall to come down. Ronald Reagan-Tear Down this Wall. Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate West Berlin, Germany June 12, 1987 This speech was delivered to the people of West Berlin, yet it was also audible on the East side of the Berlin wall. 2,703 words Thank you very much.
Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world at the City Hall. Well, since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn, to Berlin. We come to Berlin, we American presidents, because it's our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom. Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe.
President von Weizsacker has said, "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed. " Did David Hasselhoff really help end the Cold War? Baywatch star David Hasselhoff is griping that his role in reuniting East and West Germany has been overlooked.
How Mr. Hasselhoff Tore Down This Wall. Did Springsteen's 1988 Berlin gig rock the Wall? "One of the most memorable shows we ever played was of course in East Germany in 1988," he told the Leipzig crowd on Sunday night.
"It was an incredible and emotional day for us. We were received so warmly, so many people came to see us. It remains to this day the most people we played to on one afternoon. " Then he and the enormous E Street Band launched into "Born in the USA" - and the crowd cheered to the rafters of the stadium. One of them was Andreas S. Erik Kirschbaum, a Berlin-based journalist for Reuters, has just published a book about the 1988 concert. Here Kirschbaum writes about that fateful day: Twenty-five years ago Bruce Springsteen was on a stage in Communist East Berlin playing a concert in front of 300,000 East Germans, when he pulled a crumpled note out of his pocket and delivered one of the most powerful – and most underrated – appeals for freedom made during the Cold War.
Hoping that the barriers will be torn down It was an unforgettable moment in East German history. David Bowie at the Berlin Wall: the incredible story of a concert and its role in history. GERMANY: Thank you David Bowie for helping bring down the Berlin Wall. The German Foreign Office has memorialised the late music legend David Bowie by thanking him for his role in bringing down the Berlin wall.
Good-bye, David Bowie. You are now among #Heroes. Thank you for helping to bring down the #wall. #RIPDavidBowie — GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) January 11, 2016 Bowie died Monday following an 18-month battle with cancer. It may seem like an odd accolade for a government to bestow on a rock star, but Bowie’s music from Berlin is entwined with modern German history. Did Bowie bring down the Berlin Wall? You're a 29-year-old megastar with a string of hits behind you.
Recklessly enjoying pop's loucher rewards, you're also a drug addict. What do you do? Head for rehab? A monastery? Die? In 1976, if you're David Bowie, you vanish to West Berlin. His health was extremely fragile. And so he took himself not to Marrakesh or Moscow but to Berlin, city of spies and, in its eastern sector, state-sanctioned murder. Bowie went from sexually ambiguous glam-rocker to introverted art musician Britain's edgiest rock star obviously clicked with Berlin's spooky incompleteness, as well as with its danger. Escaping of the 5,000 from East Berlin. The first known escapee after wire partitions began dividing Berlin on August 13th, 1961, was an East German soldier called Conrad Schumann.
He leapt over the wire cordon two days later. His simple leap to freedom became one of the iconic images of the Cold War. The first victim was 58-year-old Ida Siekmann, who was fatally injured on August 18th while jumping from a window at the border in Bernauer Street, Prenzlauer Berg. At least 138 people were killed trying to leave East Berlin from 1961 to 1989, and another 872 on the inner German border. E German 'licence to kill' found. Border guards in East Germany during the Cold War were given clear orders to shoot at attempted defectors, including children, a senior official says.
A newly discovered order is the firmest evidence yet that the communist regime gave explicit shoot-to-kill orders, says Germany's director of Stasi files. The Stasi was the security ministry of the East German government, which always denied there was such a policy. The order "is a licence to kill", said the head of a Stasi victims' memorial. Hubertus Knabe called for a criminal investigation and possible murder charges to be brought against whoever drew up the order, saying nearly all the Stasi's 91,000 former employees had gone "practically unpunished". Still reckoning. "Walled In!" Germany's inner border. Berlin Wall Fast Facts. The wall between East and West Berlin was nearly 12 feet high and approximately 27 miles long, with 302 guard towers and 55,000 anti-personnel explosive devices (landmines). To prevent attempts to scale the wall or escape by digging underneath, the wall was reinforced with barbed wire, spikes, metal gratings, bunkers and vehicles made into obstacles.
A wide-open area of dirt and sand, a buffer zone between the two walls, became known as "no man's land" or the "death strip," where guards in watch towers could shoot anyone trying to escape. The most famous border crossing was known as Checkpoint Charlie. Berlin Wall - The History Channel. On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin.
The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself.