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Update: Measles vaccination to become compulsory in Germany. German word of the day: Die Petze. Most Germans believe Merkel shaking 'a private issue': poll. Visiting Germany. Walking through Checkpoint Charlie , 10 November At the Brandenburg Gate , 10 November Another border crossing to the south may have been opened earlier.
Removal of the Wall began on the evening of 9 November and continued over the following days and weeks, with people nicknamed Mauerspechte wall woodpeckers using various tools to chip off souvenirs, demolishing lengthy parts in the process, and creating several unofficial border crossings. Crowds gathered on both sides of the historic crossings waiting for hours to cheer the bulldozers that tore down portions of the Wall to reconnect the divided roads. While the Wall officially remained guarded at a decreasing intensity, new border crossings continued for some time.
Initially the East German Border Troops attempted repairing damage done by the "Wall peckers"; gradually these attempts ceased, and guards became more lax, tolerating the increasing demolitions and "unauthorized" border crossing through the holes. Thus, in the weeks between 9 November and 23 December, East Germans could actually travel more freely than Westerners.
According to estimates by the border troops, a total of around 1. These were equipped with trucks, 65 cranes, 55 excavators and 13 bulldozers. Virtually every road that was severed by the Berlin Wall, every road that once linked from West Berlin to East Berlin, was reconstructed and reopened by 1 August What remained were six sections that were to be preserved as a memorial. Painted wall segments with artistically valuable motifs were put up for auction in in Berlin and Monte Carlo.
On 1 July , the day East Germany adopted the West German currency, all de jure border controls ceased, although the inter-German border had become meaningless for some time before that. The fall of the Wall marked the first critical step towards German reunification , which formally concluded a mere days later on 3 October with the dissolution of East Germany and the official reunification of the German state along the democratic lines of the West German Basic Law. An East German guard talks to a Westerner through a broken seam in the wall in late November A crane removes a section of the Wall near Brandenburg Gate on 21 December In some European capitals at the time, there was a deep anxiety over prospects for a reunified Germany.
This would lead to a change to postwar borders and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security," Thatcher told Gorbachev. On 25 December , Leonard Bernstein gave a concert in Berlin celebrating the end of the Wall, including Beethoven's 9th symphony Ode to Joy with the word "Joy" Freude changed to "Freedom" Freiheit in the lyrics sung.
The poet Schiller may have originally written "Freedom" and changed it to "Joy" out of fear.
Over the years, there has been a repeated controversial debate  as to whether 9 November would make a suitable German national holiday, often initiated by former members of political opposition in East Germany, such as Werner Schulz. However, 9 November is also the anniversary of the execution of Robert Blum following the Vienna revolts , the Beer Hall Putsch and the infamous Kristallnacht pogroms of the Nazis in Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel criticised the first euphoria, noting that "they forgot that 9 November has already entered into history—51 years earlier it marked the Kristallnacht.
On 9 November , Berlin celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall with a "Festival of Freedom" with dignitaries from around the world in attendance for an evening celebration around the Brandenburg Gate. A high point was when over 1, colourfully designed foam domino tiles, each over 8 feet 2. A Berlin Twitter Wall was set up to allow Twitter users to post messages commemorating the 20th anniversary.
The Chinese government quickly shut down access to the Twitter Wall after masses of Chinese users began using it to protest the Great Firewall of China. In the United States, the German Embassy coordinated a public diplomacy campaign with the motto "Freedom Without Walls", to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The campaign was focused on promoting awareness of the fall of the Berlin Wall among current college students.
Students at over 30 universities participated in "Freedom Without Walls" events in late An international project called Mauerreise Journey of the Wall took place in various countries. Twenty symbolic Wall bricks were sent from Berlin starting in May , with the destinations being Korea, Cyprus, Yemen, and other places where everyday life is characterised by division and border experience. In these places, the bricks would become a blank canvas for artists, intellectuals and young people to tackle the "wall" phenomenon.