While in Europe, political and economic agreements have brought borders down, elsewhere religious and territorial conflicts are driving walls, barriers and security fences up
I grew up with the Iron Curtain. The other side seemed as mysterious and exotic as Bondi ...
There is a poignant piece of footage from that day: Berliners are standing around beside the rising fence, when suddenly a man and a small dog come running into the picture from the east. The man hurdles the waist-height wire and lands in west Berlin. But his dog, leaping after him, hits the wire. A border guard grabs the animal. The man and bystanders implore him to give it back. He refuses.
Then, on November 9 1989, the East German politburo member Günter Schabowski announced, possibly unintentionally, during a televised press conference, that the border would be opened immediately. That night people danced on the Wall. Not everyone came out. One East German later told me that when he saw the TV news, he hadn’t reacted at all. He could not believe the Wall had fallen, and so he assumed it hadn’t. Borderlines