What led to the fall of the Berlin Wall?
#92125. Asked by jemargu. (Feb 09 08 1:38 AM)
To find the cause of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one must look, not in Germany, but in the Soviet Union. The change began when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985. He tried to make changes in the state bureaucracy and in the Communist party by restructuring the economy’s production and distribution system, a plan now known as perestroika. |
In addition, Gorbachev also allowed for the policy of glasnost, or public criticism of the communist party. Gorbachev’s reform contributed to the breakup of the centralized structure of the USSR. During this time some states such as Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania declared their independence.
In 1989, Gorbachev shifted his policies toward the satellite states of the communist block in Eastern Europe, including Germany.
In effect, the politics in Germany also began to lead toward the destruction of the wall. In the fall of 1989, there was an antigovernment demonstration in East Germany. In mid-October 1989, the Politburo forced the resignation of Erich Honecker, the leader of the GDR (German Democratic Republic).
In this way, Erich Honecker was ousted from office, and others soon followed. By the first week of November, the entire Politburo and all of the members of the East German cabinet resigned.
The new Prime minister, Hans Modrow, announced plans to decentralize the economy and an easing of travel restrictions.
This allowed the East Germans, from the communist sector, to cross the boarder into the west, the Allied sector.
More here and good links as well:
Ronald Reagan is due at least a glimmer of credit. Although his ringing challenge from the Brandenburg Gate, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" may be easily dismissed by some as mere histrionics from a professional actor, a public declamation by the President of the United States does carry some weight. And that's without factoring in all the behind-the-scenes activity.|
See this straightforward Wiki article
or better yet, see its third footnote for a puckish piece that will tickle both admirers and detractors of Pres. Reagan. It also credits--or mocks--Pope John Paul II for his part in bringing down the wall.
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