Thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall: find our main articles


To better understand the issues of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9, 1989, we have collected twelve articles published in "The World" in recent days.

Posted today at 15h24, updated at 15h31

Time to Reading 2 min.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel lights a candle in front of a Memorial in honor of the victims of communism on 9 November 2019 in Berlin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel lights a candle in front of a Memorial in honor of the victims of communism on 9 November 2019 in Berlin. FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS

Germany and the European Union celebrate this weekend the 30the Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, November 9, 1989. In a series of articles and in a supplement to be found on newsstands, "The World" tells the hopes and upheavals that followed the fall of the "Iron Curtain" , the uncertain legacy of the reunification of Germany and the consequences of the disappearance of the Soviet Union.

Here are the main texts gathered here. Good reading.

  • The winding paths of European reunification

Decryption. Enlargement has been a geopolitical success for the countries of the Union even though relations between East and West generate frustrations, rivalries and misunderstandings.

  • Fall of the Berlin Wall: Let's not miss a funeral

Editorial. Even though Europe is in crisis today on several issues, we must not forget that the fall of the Berlin Wall first and foremost marked the end of communism as a totalitarian regime.

  • The legacy of reunification continues to fragment German identity

Decryption. The claim of an identity distinct from that of the West is more and more present in the debates. A majority of East Germans consider themselves as second-class citizens, while the far right is progressing.

  • Berlin, 1989: The Maestro and the Wall

Story. The world republishes an article dated 1997, in which the great Russian musician Rostropovich returns to these historical hours.

  • Nine maps on the persistent gap between the former GDR and the rest of Germany

Decoders. On income, unemployment, demographics or election results, the border is still visible between the two Germanys.

  • "On November 9, 1989, a piece of the Berlin Wall fell …" A Night of Happiness

Archives. On the night of 9 to 10 November 1989, our special envoy was attending this historic moment of opening of crossings between East Berlin and West Berlin.

  • The history of the Berlin Wall: from war to fall

Video. Maps, the eyes of historians and archival images tell the story of the Wall, from its origins to the images of the night of November 9, 1989.

  • In 1989, 100 Deutschmarks for the citizens of the GDR: welcome gift and bitter-sweet ticket to the unknown

Story. Less spectacular than the images of the fall of the wall, on November 9, 1989, the blue note given to every Eastern citizen by the West German government deeply marked those who received it. As a ticket to the consumer society.

  • Georges Mink: "The populist elites perceive the EU as a new Moscow"

Interview. The French-Polish sociologist explains how some Eastern European policies exploit "memory games", at the risk of provoking new fractures in Europe.

  • Andreï Gratchev: "In 1989, nobody was prepared for this upheaval"

Tribune. Although he had worked to make it possible, Mikhail Gorbachev was taken aback by the fall of the Wall. This finally led to his own political fall, explains his former advisor.

  • Adam Michnik: "In Poland, with Solidarnosc, the Berlin Wall cracked"

Tribune. The labor union has "Discredited the Communist Party" and in its wake, millions of Poles demanded freedom and the return of their national identity, recalls the journalist and former activist.

  • "Loyalty at any price" by Sonia Combe: intellectuals loyal to the East German dictatorship

Delivered. The historian Sonia Combe analyzes the tormented relations that a number of thinkers maintained with the communist power.

To read more articles on the same theme, click on this page.

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