November 9 in German History

The Berlin Wall fell 33 years ago today on Nov. 9, a strangely important date in German history, reports Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

November 9 is an eerily significant day in German history, in which five major events occurred.  

Reunification was not universally cheered in Western Europe. Italian premiere Giulio Andreotti said, “I love Germany so much that I preferred when there were two.”

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to reunification in exchange for an unwritten promise that NATO would not expand to the East, a broken U.S. promise that scuttled the hope of post-Cold War peace and laid the groundwork for this year’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

I lived in Germany from 1984 to 1988, the last year in West Berlin.  I returned to Berlin on Nov. 11, 1989, two days after the wall opened, and recorded these images at the breached barrier.


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe

1 comment for “November 9 in German History

  1. Vera Gottlieb
    November 10, 2022 at 10:14

    And in ALL these years…have we learned anything? We are still at each other’s throats.

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