Dismantling the Berlin Wall

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On the night of Nov. 9, 1989, the most hated symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, was turned into a pile of rubble. All night long, East and West Germans celebrated their new freedom by smashing the 28-mile-long (and 28-year-old) barrier. The following morning, East German troops were ordered to dismantle all of the wall. Soon, East and West Germany were reunited.

Two years earlier President Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate (one of the many checkpoints into Communist East Germany) and declared, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" The wall was the last desperate effort by East Germany’s then boss, Walter Ulbricht, to stop defections to the west.

But by 1989, the Soviet Union and its various satellites were on the verge of collapse. Erich Honecker, East Germany’s brutal head of state since 1976, resigned. A day later, so did Bulgaria’s communist boss, Todor Zhikov. By Christmas of that year, most former Soviet satellites had gained their freedom, as a sort of reverse domino effect took place.

—Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of PersonalLiberty.com. He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.