Fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 years later

Berlin Wall in Los Angeles, California

On November 9, 1989, the government of East Germany announced that all of its citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of Germans from east and west climbed onto the heavily fortified wall surrounding West Berlin and began chipping away at the concrete with hammers and other tools in a celebratory atmosphere. East German guards stood down. Thus began the fall of the Berlin Wall that had divided the city since 1961. The beginning of the end of the Cold War was at hand.

On this episode, Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior fellow at Brookings and the Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress, discusses her new Foreign Policy Essay, “German Lessons: Thirty Years after the End of History, elements of an education,” and the lessons that were in store for her, her fellow Germans, Europe, and the world.

Also, Senior Fellow David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, talks about his takeaways after watching people play the Fiscal Ship Game, an interactive game about balancing the federal budget developed by the Hutchins Center.

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* image in banner: “Berlin Wall in Los Angeles, California,” by Carol M. Highsmith, 2012, via Library of Congress online catalog.