BERLIN – When East German pastor and dissident Werner Kr?tschell heard that the Berlin Wall was open, he did not believe it. But he still took his daughter and her friend to the nearest checkpoint to see it.
It was the night of November 9, 1989. When their yellow Wartburg car unimpeded into the safe zone that had been banned from entering, Clarke shook the window and asked a border guard: "Is it dreaming or is this true?" ”
You are dreaming, the guard replied.
This is a towering symbol of no freedom, like a scar of cement and barbed wire, passing through the heart of this home city. For a long time, East Berliners like Krasher have always dreamed of dismantling it.
However, the realization of this dream, the opening of the most notorious armed guards in the Cold War era overnight, and the dismantling of the next few days, is not the result of some well-planned geopolitical deal.
At least at the most basic level, this is a wonderful result of human error, spontaneity and personal courage.
This is not a destined ending, said historian and columnist Anne Applebaum. "This is not a good victory against evil. Basically someone is derelict - and then happens to happen."
In the extraordinary evening of November, a press conference had a historic turn.
In the context of mass protests and a wave of East German refugees fleeing from Hungary through Hungary and then Czechoslovakia, East Berlin Communist Party leader Gunter Schabowski called a reporter to announce a series of relaxed travel restrictions. Reform measures.
When asked about when the new rules came into effect, Shabowski stopped for a moment and frowned and studied the notes in front of him. Then he stammered and said an answer that people didn't understand, claiming: "As far as I know, it takes effect... now... immediately."
This is a mistake. The Politburo has no such plan at all. What they want is to calm down the growing resistance movement, make some minor adjustments to the visa rules, and retain the power to ban.
But many people take Shabowski's words seriously. The main evening news program in West Germany is very popular among East Germans, because East Germans have long ceased to believe in the media controlled by their country. When the show essentially declared the opening of the Berlin Wall, the crowd began to check around the Berlin Wall. Station, request to pass.
At one of the checkpoints, a Stasi official who has been loyal to the regime is working night shifts. His name is Lieutenant Colonel Harald J. Ger. (Lt. Col. Harald J?ger). The order he got was to drive people away.
在其中一個檢查站，一名一直忠于政權的斯塔西官員正在上夜班。他的名字叫哈拉爾德·雅格中校(Lt. Col. Harald J?ger)。他得到的命令是把人們趕走。
More and more people, the Lieutenant Colonel constantly reports to the higher level. But there are no new orders. He once heard a call to the ministry and accidentally heard a senior official question his judgment.
“There was a question in the ministry whether Comrade Yage had the ability to properly assess the situation, or just because of fear,” recalls Yage, who was interviewed by Der Spiegel many years later. "I feel enough when I hear this sentence."
You don't believe me, then listen to yourself! he shouted at the phone, then picked up the receiver and lifted it out the window.
Soon after, Jager defies the superior, opened the transit passage, triggered the domino effect, and finally hit all checkpoints in Berlin. At midnight, the victorious East Germans had climbed the city walls, opened champagne, and set off fireworks to celebrate.
No shots were made during the whole process. No Soviet tanks appeared.
Axel Klausmeier, president of the Berlin Wall Foundation, said this was perhaps the biggest miracle of the night. "This is a peaceful revolution, unprecedented," he said. "They are prepared to deal with everything except candles and prayers."
柏林墻基金會(Berlin Wall Foundation)會長阿克塞爾·克勞斯邁耶(Axel Klausmeier)表示，這或許是當晚最大的奇跡。“這是一場和平的革命，史無前例，”他說。“他們做好了應對一切的準備，除了蠟燭和祈禱。”
In the history of the Berlin Wall, more than 140 people died under the wall, the vast majority of whom were trying to escape.
The 58-year-old Ida Siekmann was the first victim, August 22, 1961, just nine days from the Berlin Wall. Her front side of the house on Bernauer Street became part of the border, the front door was filled with bricks, and she fell off when she jumped off the window on the third floor.