Tonight, in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. This NBC coverage of the night (‘from hammer and sickle to hammer and chisel’) gives a good impression of the atmosphere. I wrote a post on 1 October about German unification, so I won’t repeat myself. The fall of the Wall in Berlin was not, of course, where the Iron Curtain first began to fray and unravel, but it was an extraordinarily symbolic moment. Those who had the chance to experience the surreal atmosphere of that sadly divided city, with its tramlines running into walls, the sandtraps and watchtowers, the U-bahn loop from West to East and back again, with its gun-toting guards on deserted station platforms, the returning tourists throwing Ost-marks away on the ground at Friedrichstrasse, the sheer drabness of the buildings and the food, the claustrophia of the looming wall, the sinister security around the check points, know just how strange it must have felt in those first few hours when movement between the west and the east and vice versa first became possible – and just how joyous.