The berlin wall was created to act as a guarding barrier which divided berlin physically as well as ideologically. The barrier stood for 20 years that is from 1961 to 1989, 30 years ago when it finally fell. The wall separated West Berlin from East Germany during the cold war. The falling of the wall has a huge significance in history as it marks the victory of western democracy over the Soviet-style communism.
The director of the school of journalism of the Northeastern University, Jonathan Kaufman, covered the political upheaval that arose across the whole of Eastern Europe. Kaufman was a reporter at The Boston Globe during the series of political events.
In an interview, Jonathan shares his experience and reaction through a series of events that he observed and covered.
“No one could have predicted what would happen during those six weeks,” he said. “It was an astonishing thing to see the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.”
He talks about the cultural shock that seemed to grip the Eastern Germans after entering the west for the first time. Parallelly to this, the protests at Prague led to the dissolution of communism there too. Eastern Europe witnessed the pro-democracy domino effect within the matter of the week of these events. It led to major political changes and hence, created a great mark on the history of Berlin, Germany as well as Prague.
“I didn’t sleep for two days. We (Kaufman and other reporters) were just watching this remarkable sight of East Germans pouring across the wall,” he said while talking about the atmosphere in Berlin during the toppling of the wall.
“One of the most haunting moments I can remember came next: All the students started singing. And none of us spoke Czech, but pretty soon I recognised the melody and realised they were singing “We Shall Overcome.” And within 10 days, the communist government had collapsed.”