The real information revolution
22 November 2017 09:36 (South Africa)
Politics

Thank you Gorby for tearing down this wall (or at least not shooting those who did)

  • J Brooks Spector
    brooks spector 02 BW
    J Brooks Spector

    Spector settled in Johannesburg after a career as a US diplomat in Africa and East Asia. He has taught at the U. of the Witwatersrand, been a consultant for an international NGO, run a theatre, and been a commentator for South African and international print/broadcast/online media, in addition to writing for The Daily Maverick from day one. Spector is a Writing Fellow of the Unit of Johannesburg’s Institute for Advanced Studies. He says he learned everything he needs to know about politics from ‘Casablanca.’ Maybe he's cynical about some things, but a late Beethoven string quartet, John Coltrane’s music and a dish of Pad Thai will bring him close to tears.

  • Politics
berlin wall celebration

Angela Merkel and Mikhail Gorbachev this week crossed the site of the infamous Berlin Wall as Germans chanted "Gorby! Gorby!" in recognition of the night the wall came down – and the music (courtesy of Bon Jovi and Beethoven) played on.

The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton joined Merkel and Gorbachev at the Brandenburg Gate, a key crossing point and “ground zero” of the former division of Berlin. The Berlin Wall ceased dividing Berlin on 9 November 1989 when Berliners streamed across the dividing line as East German guards stopped barring their crossing. The effective end of the division of Berlin became a crucial moment in the collapse of communism and Soviet domination of Central and Eastern Europe. During the commemorations, Merkel lauded Gorbachev’s role, saying, “You made this possible - you courageously let things happen.” There were also memorials for the 136 people killed trying to cross the border and 1,000 giant dominoes fell in symbolic recognition of the collapse of the wall.

Read more at the AP, the BBC and the New York Times

Read The Daily Maverick story: The Day The Wall came tumbling down

For more on the initial reluctance of many nations to contemplate, let alone support, a newly unified Germany, read more at the New York Times

WATCH: Bush and Gorbachev: The Berlin Wall interviews - 06 Nov 09

Photo: Giant domino pieces installed along a stretch of the Berlin Wall's original path are seen at Brandenburg Gate during celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall in Berlin November 9, 2009. Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

The Berlin Wall interviews - 06 Nov 09

  • J Brooks Spector
    brooks spector 02 BW
    J Brooks Spector

    Spector settled in Johannesburg after a career as a US diplomat in Africa and East Asia. He has taught at the U. of the Witwatersrand, been a consultant for an international NGO, run a theatre, and been a commentator for South African and international print/broadcast/online media, in addition to writing for The Daily Maverick from day one. Spector is a Writing Fellow of the Unit of Johannesburg’s Institute for Advanced Studies. He says he learned everything he needs to know about politics from ‘Casablanca.’ Maybe he's cynical about some things, but a late Beethoven string quartet, John Coltrane’s music and a dish of Pad Thai will bring him close to tears.

  • Politics

Get overnight news and latest Daily Maverick articles






Do Not Miss