The Surprising Human Factors Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall

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)