On November 9, 1989, a wave of mass political protests on an unprecedented scale in East Germany brought down the wall that had divided Berlin for over a quarter century and had symbolically defined the post-war world order. The historic, peaceful dismantling of the German Democratic Republic (or East Germany) communist system came about with unimaginable swiftness, but the aftershocks long reverberated across Germany, Europe and the globe. Ultimately, the fall of the Wall presaged not only the reunification of the nation less than a year later on October 3, 1990, but the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War. Not everyone, however, shared the euphoric enthusiasm of the East and West Berliners dancing atop the wall – as leaders throughout Europe questioned what role a reunified Germany would and should play in Europe’s future.
On November 6, the Center on the United States and Europe brought together a panel of international experts to re-examine after 25 years the ramifications of the fall of the Berlin Wall and a reunified Germany on both sides of the Atlantic.