Berlin Wall

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East German Who Hailed Fall of Berlin Wall Dies

(Newser) - Guenter Schabowski, the senior East German official whose cryptic announcement that the communist country was opening its fortified border precipitated the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, died Sunday at 86. Politburo spokesman Schabowski's halting words at the conclusion of a plodding evening news conference on Nov. 9,... More »

Berlin Wall? Met the Pope? More Brian Williams Qs

NBC is still carrying out investigation into anchor's exaggerations

(Newser) - Brian Williams has been shot at by Iraqi forces, contracted dysentery , and watched as a dead man floated by after Hurricane Katrina, according to reports by Brian Williams. Now, after being suspended for six months from NBC for misleading statements about his Iraq War activity, the news anchor is... More »

25 Years Ago Today, the Wall Came Down

Merkel salutes end of era, move 'reclaiming freedom'

(Newser) - As Germany celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel honored the memory of the 138 people who died there and paid tribute to those who helped bring down the Wall, calling its collapse an example of the human yearning for freedom.... More »

Gorbachev: We're Facing 'New Cold War'

Former Soviet leader warns of Western 'triumphalism'

(Newser) - Tensions between the major powers have pushed the world closer to a new Cold War, former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said today. The 83-year-old accused the West, particularly the United States, of giving in to "triumphalism" after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the... More »

Sections of Berlin Wall Come Down

Four sections of East Side Gallery make way for luxe apartments

(Newser) - Sorry, David Hasselhoff, you failed : Work crews removed four sections of the Berlin Wall's famed East Side Gallery this morning. The 4.5-foot sections that were removed will make way for an access route to the luxury apartments planned for the area, the AP reports. Protesters had demanded that... More »

Hasselhoff's New Mission: Save the Berlin Wall

He's back in Germany, singing 'Looking for Freedom' again

(Newser) - David Hasselhoff became a hero to many Germans when he performed his song, "Looking for Freedom," on top of the Berlin Wall in 1989; it became an anthem of the German reunification. But now the Hoff wants to save, not topple, the last standing portion of the wall:... More »

Berlin Wall to Be Razed for ... Luxe Housing

Petitions spring up to protect East Side Gallery

(Newser) - Once again, the Berlin Wall is coming down—but this time, it's so swanky apartments can rise up in its place. And Berliners aren't happy about it, the Local reports. Thousands have signed online petitions against the move, confirmed by an eastern Berlin mayor, who argues that razing... More »

Berlin Wall Turning Into Kitschy Tourist Trap

Many fear a 'Cold War Disneyland': Der Spiegel

(Newser) - Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of construction on the Berlin Wall, prompting Der Spiegel to assess how Germany is handling its Cold War legacy. Answer: With kitsch, and lots of it. Entrepreneurs have found ways to capitalize, primarily in irreverent ways. They're trying everything from guided... More »

Tea Party Must Drop the Hitler Comparisons

Germans not amused by 'ignorant' name-dropping

(Newser) - The Tea Party and its supporters should keep their hands off German history, argues Charles Hawley for Der Spiegel . It seems many of them can't stop themselves from comparing Barack Obama to Hitler , or talking about death panels , or, in one case, dressing up like a Nazi , he writes. And... More »

Berlin Wall Shooting Game Sparks Fury

Victims' relatives slam 'tasteless' border guard game

(Newser) - Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of German reunification—and the German people are none too pleased with a video game that was set to launch that day. In 1,378—named for the length of the wall, in kilometers—players can assume the role of border guards and shoot or... More »

5 People Married to Inanimate Objects

The Berlin wall's 'wife' calls it 'completely normal'

(Newser) - Think Lee Jin-gyu, who recently married his pillow , was the first to say “I do” to an inanimate object? Think again. The Frisky reveals the stories of four more:
  • Erika La Tour Eiffel: As you might be able to guess from her new last name, this former US Air
... More »

'Vindictive' Documentary on Kennedys Ignites Furor

Right-winger's History Channel biopic blamed JFK for Berlin Wall

(Newser) - A History Channel miniseries on the Kennedy family that won't be aired for nearly a year has already raised the ire of Kennedy historians and liberal critics who call the series' script a historically inaccurate hatchet job that portrays the JFK presidency salaciously. The Kennedys is being produced by Joel... More »

Sarko Lied About Berlin Wall Memories

Critics say French prez fudged dates on 1989 trip

(Newser) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy rushed to Berlin 20 years ago to begin chipping away at the Berlin Wall just hours before it fell, he recalls on his Facebook page. There's just one small problem: it never happened, say critics. The French media have been chipping away at Sarkozy's claim, uncovering... More »

Germany Celebrates Fall of the Wall

Twenty years later, unified country celebrates togetherness

(Newser) - Fireworks illuminated the rainy skies above Berlin as Germans and high-profile visitors came together today to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall exactly 20 years ago. President Obama unexpectedly joined the festivities—in a video greeting introduced by Hillary Clinton. "There could be no clearer rebuke of tyranny,... More »

Post-1989 Germany an Unexpected Success

Successes in Europe would boggle a 1989 mind: Applebaum

(Newser) - As “the exhaustive and perfectly blameless celebrations” of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall unfold, Anne Applebaum has a bone to pick. The festivities are “focusing on what didn’t happen rather than what did,” she writes, treating “the past two decades... More »

Germany Hails Anniversary of Berlin Wall's Fall

Dominoes, fireworks, music help mark 20 years

(Newser) - Hundreds of foam dominoes will fall today in Berlin, symbolizing the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has called Nov. 9, 1989, "the happiest day in recent German history," will lead the festivities.... More »

U2's Berlin Show Walled Off

Ticketless fans will need to scale these city walls to peek

(Newser) - Outraged Berliners are complaining that building a new wall in the heart of their city is a less-than-ideal way of marking 20 years since the Berlin Wall came down. U2 will play a free concert in Berlin tonight as part of the weeklong anniversary celebrations, but organizer MTV has erected... More »

Shame on Obama for Skipping Berlin Festivities

(Newser) - Skipping the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall is a bad choice by President Obama, Rick Richman writes, for several reasons:
  • It’s a snub of a personal invitation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel—a key ally and one going all out for the festivities.
  • It’s
... More »

Domino Wall to Fall on Berlin Anniversary

'Domino-Aktion' to mark 20 years since Berlin Wall toppled

(Newser) - Twenty years after a domino effect of resistance toppled Communist regimes across Europe and brought down the Berlin Wall, the Germans are trying it again with actual dominoes. Volunteers have crafted almost 1,000 8-foot-tall Styrofoam dominoes and plan to assemble them along the path of the old Wall through... More »

Thatcher Urged Gorbachev to Block German Reunification

British leader warned Soviets that the change would endanger security

(Newser) - Margaret Thatcher called on Mikhail Gorbachev to halt German reunification months before the Berlin Wall came down, newly unearthed Kremlin documents reveal. Thatcher—telling the Soviet leader he should disregard NATO pronouncements on the issue—said the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact wasn't in the interests of the West, the... More »

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