Last updated: 9 november, 2009 - 17:36 GMT

Berlin 1989: The world remembers

People in front of the Brandenburg gate in Berlin as part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (8 November 2009)

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

Ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall have taken place as world leaders, past and present, join tens of thousands of tourists and well-wishers on the streets of the city.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first German leader to have grown up in communist East Germany, told a ceremony at the historic Brandenburg Gate that German unity was still incomplete, as the East lagged in economic growth.

The fall of the Wall led to the collapse of Communist power and German reunification; it became a symbol for the end of the Cold War.

The East German Politburo member Guenter Schabowski

Guenter Schabowski was a Politburu member in 1989

On 9 November 1989 the East German Politburo member Guenter Schabowski announced that East Germans would be allowed to travel freely to the West.

Two decades on, Mr Schabowski has been reflecting on his role in the events that led to the reunification of Germany.

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

While Berlin is celebrating the end of the division between East and West, on the Korean peninsula they're still staring at each other across a fortified frontier.

The BBC's John Sudworth is in Imjingak, on border between North and South Korea- the last frontier of the cold war.

South and North Korean family members reunited at Diamond Mountain in North Korea (30 September 2009)

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

First broadcast 9 November 2009

Related BBC links

  • The man who drove a tank into the Berlin wall

  • Growing up in East Germany before the fall of the wall

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.