Berlin is readying major celebrations for today, 9 November, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The fall of the wall provided real impetus and momentum for East Germany and Central Europe’s ending of communist rule in those states. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host a full roster of current and former world leaders and senior officials, including Mikhail Gorbachev, current European heads of state and government and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton. One event will be a long line of dominoes, each 2.5m high, running from in front of the Brandenburg Gate to the Reichstag. Organisers say they expect some 100,000 visitors on the streets on Monday for the events. More sombrely, they note that the Berlin Wall was not the only wall. Current such divisions include the armistice demarcation in Korea, a wall being constructed between Israel and the West Bank, the Green Line between Turks and Greeks in Cyprus and a border fence between the US and Mexico. Locally, the Goethe Institut plans a big “fall of the wall” party at their South African headquarters in Parkwood as well.Read more at the New York Times and the Wilson Quarterly of the Wilson Center in Washington
Ireland's population has still not recovered from the Great Famine.