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November 9, 2009
Both sides remember the day the Berlin Wall fell down

For decades, the Berlin Wall stood as the symbol of the Cold War. Built in 1961, it was the line in the sand where western democracy ended and communist rule began. Then suddenly, 20 years ago today, it was gone.

As a reporter, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff hitchhiked overnight to Berlin to cover the story. He is now the senior director at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Daniel Fried was working at the Polish desk at the U.S. State Department when the wall came down. He later became the U.S. ambassador to Poland.
Sergey Shestakov was the chief of staff for the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations. He explains how the Soviets saw the fall of the wall.

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I pray that the world consciousness of the Berlin Wall coming down and the mass of humanity that fled from imprisonment under a totalitarian regime can be compared with the totalitarian Israeli government building miles of walls, separating Palestinian REFUGEES from their homeland, their families and their freedom.


I remember the fall of the wall. I was completely astonished. I wept with tears of joy of recognition, that the end of communism was at hand. To me communism represented the greatest evil since Naziism. We did not have to go to war against communists against our former allies the Soviet Union. It was a blessing a realization of great relief that perhaps the world would not end in nuclear calimity. I believe the people of Eastern Europe, especially Poland, Gorbachev and the Russian people for the end of the communist system of agressive prolitariat revolution against the ideals of Western Democracies.

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