Why is 9th November 1989 significant in the history of the Berlin Wall?

On August 13th, 1961, the East German government erected the Berlin Wall in order to keep its citizens from fleeing to the West. Just past midnight, trucks with soldiers and construction workers rumbled through East Berlin. While most Berliners were sleeping, these crews tore up streets that entered into West Berlin, dug holes to put up concrete posts, and strung barbed wire all across the border between East and West Berlin. Telephone wires between East and West Berlin were also cut. The Berlin Wall stretched over 160 kilometers. It ran not only through the centre of Berlin, but also wrapped around West Berlin, entirely cutting West Berlin off from the rest of East Germany.

 The Berlin Wall did prevent the majority of East Germans from emigrating to the West, yet during the history of the Berlin Wall, it is estimated that about 5,000 people made it safely across. The fall of the Berlin Wall happened nearly as suddenly as its rise. There had been signs that the Communist bloc was weakening yet it came as a surprise to everyone when at midnight on November 9th/10th 1989 East Germany’s Communist rulers gave permission for gates along the Wall to be opened after hundreds of people converged on crossing points. Berliners from the East surged through, cheering and shouting and were be met by jubilant West Berliners on the other side. Ecstatic crowds immediately began to clamber on top of the Wall and hack large chunks out of the 45 kilometer barrier. The Berlin Wall had become the gateway to freedom in Germany.