Germany will mark today’s 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by releasing 8,000 balloons along a nine-mile stretch of the former concrete frontier.
The lit balloons will be untethered at 7.18pm local time, to celebrate the moment the first East Germans started to clamber across the divide into the west on Thursday 9 November, 1989.
The wall was built around West Berlin in 1961 by the German Democratic Republic, which called it the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart”.
The Wall’s main purpose, however, was to prevent defections to the west.
In its 28-year history, the Berlin Wall became a potent symbol of the Cold War with its watchtowers and so-called “death-strip” where an estimated 5,000 people risked their lives to escape the hardline regime.
But cracks started to appear in the imposing edifice when mainly bloodless revolutions in Poland and Hungary heralded the loosening of communism’s grip in eastern Europe… see more