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In Pictures: Celebrating the fall of Berlin Wall 20 years on

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Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

Andreas Rentz

People stand by giant, painted styrofoam dominoes in front of  the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

People stand by giant, painted styrofoam dominoes in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen after falling in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen after falling in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall fall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. Writing on the screens reads "Freedom".

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall fall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. Writing on the screens reads "Freedom".

Herbert Knosowski

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks in front of a screen during a video message of U.S. President Barack Obama at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks in front of a screen during a video message of U.S. President Barack Obama at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Markus Schreiber

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall lay on the ground after falling in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall lay on the ground after falling in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Herbert Knosowski

An man clad as angel stands on a building next to the former border in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

An man clad as angel stands on a building next to the former border in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Eckehard Schulz

A visitor holds up a young woman to peek over the edge of a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall into the so-called "death strip," where East German border guards had the order to shoot anyone attempting to flee into West Berlin, at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

A visitor holds up a young woman to peek over the edge of a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall into the so-called "death strip," where East German border guards had the order to shoot anyone attempting to flee into West Berlin, at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Sean Gallup

The trumpeter Elisabeth Gabriel (75) plays at a commemorative ceremony at a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

The trumpeter Elisabeth Gabriel (75) plays at a commemorative ceremony at a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Carsten Koall

A woman dressed as angel waves from a roof top near the German Reichstag, lower House of Parliament, on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

A woman dressed as angel waves from a roof top near the German Reichstag, lower House of Parliament, on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Andreas Rentz

Giant painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of  the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Giant painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler  attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Pool

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler, Berlin's Major Klaus Wowereit and U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler, Berlin's Major Klaus Wowereit and U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Pool

Children huddling under plastic tarps and umbrellas wave sparklers during celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

Children huddling under plastic tarps and umbrellas wave sparklers during celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

Sean Gallup

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, center, signs autographs for a boy as Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, right, looks on while crossing the Bornholmer Bruecke, Bornholm bridge in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. The Bornholm bridge used to be a border crossing between East and West Berlin in 1989.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, center, signs autographs for a boy as Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, right, looks on while crossing the Bornholmer Bruecke, Bornholm bridge in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. The Bornholm bridge used to be a border crossing between East and West Berlin in 1989.

Herbert Knosowski

The illuminated Brandenburg Gate is seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

The illuminated Brandenburg Gate is seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

Polish young people paint plastic foam replicas of parts of the Berlin Wall in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, and of the unification of Germany. The anniversary event was  organized by the German Embassy and Robert Schuman Foundation that promotes European integration

Polish young people paint plastic foam replicas of parts of the Berlin Wall in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, and of the unification of Germany. The anniversary event was organized by the German Embassy and Robert Schuman Foundation that promotes European integration

Czarek Sokolowski

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Michael Sohn

Fireworks illuminate the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fireworks illuminate the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

WOLFGANG RATTAY

U.S. President Barack Obama is seen on screens during a video message at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

U.S. President Barack Obama is seen on screens during a video message at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Markus Schreiber

Fireworks are see at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Fireworks are see at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Michael Sohn

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

A couple from Barcelona photograph themselves in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the conclusion of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

A couple from Barcelona photograph themselves in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the conclusion of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

Sean Gallup

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

The giant, painted styrofoam dominoes lay on the ground in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The giant, painted styrofoam dominoes lay on the ground in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Fireworks expolde at the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fireworks expolde at the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes stand along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes stand along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Pool

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Giant, painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of  the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Giant, painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firework along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firework along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firewotk along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firewotk along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Spectators with umbrellas wait on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall next to the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Spectators with umbrellas wait on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall next to the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Miguel Villagran

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

A man hammers away at the Berlin Wall on Nov. 12, 1989 as the border barrier between East and West Germany was torn down after 28 years, symbolically ending the Cold War.

A man hammers away at the Berlin Wall on Nov. 12, 1989 as the border barrier between East and West Germany was torn down after 28 years, symbolically ending the Cold War.

JOHN GAPS III

/

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

It was the same sort of miserable November weather, grey and drizzling; the mass of humanity was large, chaotic and giddy as then; and there in the midst of it, three figures as solidly "eastern" as any of those who teemed across the Berlin Wall 20 years ago.

Lech Walesa, still every inch the Polish shop steward in his unionist's cap, Mikhail Gorbachev, still recognisably the Russian Communist he was then, and Angela Merkel, who when the Wall fell was a humble scientist in East Berlin.



Together they linked arms and walked over the grey steel Bornholmer bridge across which tens of thousands of East Germans, Ms Merkel among them, first flooded into West Berlin on the night of 9 November 1989. Carrying a small white rose and a large umbrella, the German Chancellor – whose life was changed beyond recognition by the Wall's collapse – paid tribute to her companions. "What happened in Poland was incredibly important for us all," she said.

And, turning to the former Soviet leader, she said: "We always knew that something had to happen there so that more could change here. You made this possible. You courageously let this happen, and that was much more than we could expect." And the crowd pressing around them cried, "Bravo, bravo!" and "Gorby, Gorby!"



The return to the Wall yesterday was low key, but none the less emotional for that. Ms Merkel told the crowd: "This is not just a day of celebration for Germany, it is a day of celebration for the whole of Europe."

Earlier, during a service at Berlin's Gesthemane church, she acknowledged that, despite the 20 years that have elapsed since the fall of the Wall, Germany still bears the scars of division, with the rate of unemployment in the east double that of the west. "German unity is still incomplete – we must tackle this problem if we want to achieve quality of life on an equal basis," she said.

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What happened on the night of 9 November at the Bornholmer bridge crossing point in the Berlin Wall was arguably the single most critical moment in the events of 1989. East German border guards faced a 20,000-strong crowd of East Berliners chanting "Open the gate!" After trying to contact his superior and getting no response, the officer in charge of the crossing point finally succumbed and ordered the barriers to be opened. A human tide of East Berliners flooded into West Berlin, and, within the hour, all of Berlin's seven crossing points in the Wall were thrown open, heralding the collapse of Communism throughout Europe.



Katrin Hattenhauer, who is now in her early 40s, joined the throng of East Germans who headed for West Berlin across the Bornholmer bridge that night. A dissident who had been jailed in Leipzig

for protesting against the regime, she had only just been released from prison and was officially banned from travelling to Berlin.



"I decided to go all the same. It is my birthday on 9 November and I met up with some friends in a bar in East Berlin. Suddenly we heard the borders were open," she recalled yesterday. "The feeling was absolutely overwhelming. I went to the Bornholmer bridge and then on into West Berlin. They were dancing on the Wall. It was over – the best birthday present I could ever have had," she recalled.



Ms Hattenhauer was one of hundreds of thousands of Berliners and visitors from across Germany and overseas who joined celebrations in the reunited capital last night. Ms Merkel described the events as "a celebration of the happiest day in post-war German history".



Last night it was still raining as all 27 EU leaders plus Hillary Clinton and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia gathered under the Brandenburg Gate – as powerful a symbol of the city's unity today as it was a symbol of its divisions before – to celebrate the anniversary. Also attending was the former Hungarian prime minister Miklos Nemeth, whose decision to open his country's borders with the West in the summer of 1989 was a key step towards Communism's collapse.



President Sarkozy spoke of "the wall of shame". President Medvedev said: "The Iron Curtain was annihilated. We hope the era of confrontation is past." Gordon Brown told Berlin: "The whole world is proud of you – you tore down the Wall and you changed the world. Because of your courage, two Berlins are one, two Germanys are one and now two Europes are one." Hillary Clinton said: "History broke through concrete and barbed wire and signalled a new dawn."



But it took Mr Gorbachev to remind the crowd of the single most extraordinary thing about the event they were commemorating – the fact that it was such a stunning surprise. He and the then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl knew the Wall would fall, he told the crowd, but like everyone else they were ambushed by the speed at which it happened. "Chancellor Kohl thought that it would happen in the 21st century," he said. "We were not very good clairvoyants. Every day we talked about how the German question could be solved – and then it went and happened on 9 November."



At the climax of the celebrations, at 8.30pm, Lech Walesa gave a gentle prod to a giant painted domino made of foam at the Brandenburg Gate, and, one by one, another 999 dominoes lined up from the Gate to the Potsdamer Platz in the centre of Berlin collapsed. A huge firework display and the "festival of freedom" were rounded off with a concert in front of the Brandenburg Gate conducted by Daniel Barenboim, another who witnessed these events at first hand.



In their own words: East Berliners on the Wall



The Stasi man: Harald Jager



The Stasi officer in charge of the Bornholmer bridge crossing-point in the Wall was confronted by a crowd of more than 20,000 East Berliners chanting "Open the gate!" He began letting the most vociferous into West Berlin. But the crowd started trampling down a fence. "Open up – let them all out," he ordered the guards. "I got around €4,000 in compensation after the Stasi was disbanded. I worked selling newspapers. After that I sold ice cream. I still find it strange that my pension comes to more than the amount I paid in – that's the social market economy. In my heart I'm still a leftist"



The dissident leader: Barbel Bohley



A dissident who helped to topple the regime feels let down. "I think it's wrong to have an expensive celebration to mark the anniversary. They should use the money to help the typhoon victims in the Philippines. When I look back, I think we as dissidents were stupid. Hardly any of us are in politics nowadays. We should have all gone to Bonn, [then the political capital], and we should have insisted on our people being given some key political jobs. But that just didn't happen. Even as people who were opposed to Communism, we were not free enough in our heads to make use of the opportunities we had."



The spin doctor: Gunter Schabowski



Now 80, he was the East German Communist Politburo's media spokesman on 9 November 1989. At a press conference that evening he mistakenly declared that the regime's plans to open the country's borders with the West would come into force "immediately". Schabowski's mistake opened the Wall. "I look back on 9 November with satisfaction and a certain amount of pride. Some people respect what I did at that press conference. With hindsight I think we did everything wrong in East Germany. Any attempt to construct a socialist society is certain to fail."



The teenager: Uta Wohlfarth



The graphic artist was 18 on the night the Wall fell. "I grew up right next to the Wall. The apartment block I used to live in backed on to it. I remember seeing the guards who used to patrol the Wall right next to our house. On 9 November, I watched Schabowski give his press conference on TV. I didn't go to West Berlin until a few days after the Wall had fallen. We went by bus into Neukölln. It is a run down-area and I was quite shocked. I thought the whole of West Berlin would be luxurious. I was quite disappointed and thought 'It's not much different from where we live in the East!'" She now lives in West Berlin.


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