Posted on Nov 09, 2018
On November 9th 1989 the Berlin Wall, which had divided Germans since 1961, was to fall spectacularly. This marked the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union, which was to be dissolved on December 26th 1991, to the relief of hundreds of millions of citizens, but declared by Russian president Vladimir Putin as the "greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century."
239 people are believed to have died at the wall whilst attempting to escape to the west, including a 15 month old year old child, recorded as Holger, H. who suffocated on January 22nd 1973 during his parent's escape, and who is buried in Berlin-Marienfelde. An 80 year old woman, Olga Segler, was the eldest recorded fatality, succumbing to internal injuries suffered when she leapt from a window at her home at Bernauer Straße 34.
As many as 5,000 people managed to escape.
There is no single recorded case of any west Berliners attempting to "escape" from west to east.
The Wall was an edifice of fear. On November 9th, it became a place of joy.
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