When the Wall Came Down: Part 1

It’s almost 30 years since the Berlin wall fell. Want to learn more?

Photo: Thierry Noir 1986

It is roughly one week until the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, and I want to recognise the date 9th November 1989 by sharing things you can read, watch and hear each day this week.

Day 1: The Exodus

Take a look at this incredible infographic essay from from Die Zeit newspaper, which shows how the freedom to travel sent East Germans in an enormous mass migration over the border.

Source: Die Zeit

For almost 30 years, easterners have been flooding west, creating a demographic crisis in the east. Most of those who moved were young, and there were more women than men. 2017 was the first year when more westerners went the other way – this is probably driven by the attraction of Berlin.

These posts will not be in a particular order, but the elation and optimism of 1989 should be put in perspective: it has been tempered by the reality of die Wiedervereinigung, the reunification. Germans from the west of the country still hold more wealth and more power than the east.

This short series will offer cultural and historical snapshots of how a small European nation of 16 million people started to come to an end, after just 50 years.

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