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The Surprising Human Factors Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall

From History.com


Great events do not always have great causes. One of history’s biggest surprises is how sometimes a series of small, seemingly insignificant events can suddenly add up to momentous change.

That’s how it happened with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the point-of-no-return moment in the collapse of the Cold War order. While there were broader historical forces at play, the Wall, a powerful symbol that had separated communist East Berlin from the democratic West for 28 years, would not have opened when and how it did without the last-minute decisions of a secret police officer named Harald Jäger. Struggling with the fear that he was dying of cancer, and angry over insults from higher-ups, he disobeyed direct orders and started letting East Germans through the gate. (read more)

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