Essay on The Dismantling of the Berlin Wall

1052 Words5 Pages
1989 was a very important year for Europe and the world. Leading up to this time, many countries were involved in the Cold War, a time of military and political tension between western and eastern powers. People were glum, economies were weak, and political competition was at its peak. But this was the year the Berlin Wall was opened; this year ultimately led to the ending of the Cold War (Erlanger). On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was ordered to be taken down. Within a year, West Germany and East Germany (formally known as the German Democratic Republic) became unified, and within two, the Cold War had completely ended (Schmemann). The dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 triggered an extraordinary transformation of Europe. The…show more content…
in Kulish). For these people, the transition was not only difficult because they had to rebuild their lives from scratch, but also emotionally taxing, for they had to learn to forget their past or try to remember it, despite the fact no physical remnants of their former lives remain (Kulish). Although the lives of many formerly East Germans have continued to improve, it has taken years since the reunification for the division to really blur. For the generations who experienced this life-changing event, the move was a very hard transition, and one’s origin, “Wessis” or “Ossis” (colloquial and somewhat derogatory terms for West and East Germans, respectively), still greatly defines him or her. But for the newer generations born after 1989, the event is more a fact of history than a part of one’s daily life. These younger citizens simply cannot relate to their parents’ and grandparents’ feelings about the social divisions between the West and the East. Fortunately, the relationships between the older West and East Germans have ameliorated, despite the everlasting division in their minds. But if not entirely among the older generations, the fading division between East and West Germany are incredibly apparent among the younger generations of Germans. In fact, only a small minority of those born between 1990 and 1995 defines him or herself as “East
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