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Old 11-10-2014, 12:36 AM
 
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This was an impressionable event for me in 1989. I was just becoming politically aware, and was in my early teens.

The fact that communism was being rejected was an amazing revelation in a world dominated by the fear of a nuclear war initiated by the Soviet Union.

Mr. Gorbachev's efforts at reform were central to the revolution in Germany and deserve to be remembered.

May November 9, 1989 never be forgotten.

BBC News - Berlin Wall: Thousands of balloons released to mark fall
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by Racional View Post

Mr. Gorbachev's efforts at reform were central to the revolution in Germany and deserve to be remembered.
It is also well to remember that Gorbachev had no intention of starting a revolution or displacing communism, he was out to reform, not overthrow. Sometimes these things just get away from you.

The same sort of thing is going on now with the Catholic Church. The man in charge is attempting to modernize the institution. Can the institution survive the process?
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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Actually if you want to be really anal the Berlin Wall fell in June 1990. Its demolition did not officially begin until then and the checkpoints were actually still functional all the way to the date of reunification.

Same with the World Wide Web's invention and the fall of the USSR/end of the Cold War - the ball got rolling in '89, but the actual culmination of those events didn't happen until 1990-91.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Actually if you want to be really anal the Berlin Wall fell in June 1990. Its demolition did not officially begin until then and the checkpoints were actually still functional all the way to the date of reunification.

Same with the World Wide Web's invention and the fall of the USSR/end of the Cold War - the ball got rolling in '89, but the actual culmination of those events didn't happen until 1990-91.
Well, these specific dates are no more incorrect than the American belief that the Declaration of Independence was signed on 04 July 1776, and bingo! People seem to need to believe they are celebrating an event occurring on a specific date even when the event took months to unfold and be completed....or longer.
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:51 PM
 
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Events unfolded so fast in 1989 I was very surprised and amazed. I lived in Cologne, Western Germany at the time and could not believe my eyes. We visited East Germany first in 1987 and it seemed so stable as if it would last generations more. In late 1989 and 1990 we could then visit East Germany, Poland and then-Czechoslovakia. There were still border controls but the game had clearly changed. We were lucky to have friends in Poland and Prague speaking German so we got a good idea of what was going on. At the time hardly anyone spoke English there. If you go today all the youth and younger people speak English. Now I always go as an American as there are still hard feelings towards Germany from the occupation during WW2 and I don't blame them. If you're US you're kind of a hero over there in comparison.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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It is interesting that when the wall was finally opened, it came about in such a confused, casual manner.

It wasn't a Bastille type event where the people rose and risked their blood to topple a symbol of oppression. It wasn't the product of an official announcement following negotiations, it was people reacting to rumors to the point where the rumors became the defacto rules.

The motto of the people who made the first unsupervised crossings to West Berlin may as well have been "We came, we saw, we did some shopping."
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
It is interesting that when the wall was finally opened, it came about in such a confused, casual manner.

It wasn't a Bastille type event where the people rose and risked their blood to topple a symbol of oppression. It wasn't the product of an official announcement following negotiations, it was people reacting to rumors to the point where the rumors became the defacto rules.

The motto of the people who made the first unsupervised crossings to West Berlin may as well have been "We came, we saw, we did some shopping."
Kind of a running joke in West Germany was that there were no exotic fruits available in East Germany unless you were connected or maybe around Christmas. So the German version of The Onion magazine made this their cover. Title translation: "Gaby from the east: my first banana."

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Old 11-10-2014, 09:04 PM
 
2,748 posts, read 2,883,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
It is interesting that when the wall was finally opened, it came about in such a confused, casual manner.

It wasn't a Bastille type event where the people rose and risked their blood to topple a symbol of oppression. It wasn't the product of an official announcement following negotiations, it was people reacting to rumors to the point where the rumors became the defacto rules.

The motto of the people who made the first unsupervised crossings to West Berlin may as well have been "We came, we saw, we did some shopping."
BTW- why is it always 72 years?

From the Constitution to the Civil War - 1789 to 1861
From the German November Revolution to the Reunification 1918 - 1990
From the October Revolution to the end of the Soviet Union 1917 - 1989
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Potential_Landlord View Post
BTW- why is it always 72 years?

From the Constitution to the Civil War - 1789 to 1861
From the German November Revolution to the Reunification 1918 - 1990
From the October Revolution to the end of the Soviet Union 1917 - 1989
The Soviet Union lasted until 1991.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
The Soviet Union lasted until 1991.
OK so much for that My Grand Unifying Theory of History falls apart
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