NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
10th November, 1989 : The 45-kilometre-long scar cutting across central Berlin, ugliest symbol of a divided world, has no meaning any more. Few thought to see it happen in their lifetimes, but last night, at the stroke of midnight, thousands lining both sides of the Berlin Wall gave a great roar and began to pour through checkpoints, as well as climbing up and over the Wall. They danced and trumpeted on the top. They hacked at the loathed monument to repression, loosening chunks of masonry. “I am no longer in prison!” one man shouted. They crowded onto the West Berlin streets, spraying champagne and sounding car horns until long past dawn. It all began quietly. With mass protests and the flight of refugees continuing unabated – and Egon Krenz, the new leader intent on showing sincerity about reform – Gunter Schabowski, the East Berlin party boss, yesterday held a press conference. He declared that, starting from midnight, East Germans would be free to leave the country, without special permission, at any point along the border, including the crossing points through the Wall in Berlin.
News spread quickly through both parts of the city; at Checkpoint Charlie in West Berlin a crowd formed early, taunting East German border guards with cries of “Open the gate!”. As midnight struck, the first East Berliners came through. In 28 years, at least 75 people have met violent deaths while trying to escape over the Wall.
[The same ideology which gave the world the Iron Curtain and its baby Berlin Wall, recovered from a temporary setback and a quarter of century later sucesfuly separates the people by gender, wealth, race, religion and even sexual inclination. Instead of mine fields, barbed wire and machine guns they now employ the enforcers of political correctness, Human Rights Commissars. ]