An event that changed the world

The Berlin Wall was cracked open almost accidentally. “Mass media werereporting that [Socialist Party speaker] Gunter Schabowski had said theborder to West Germany was now open,” recalls Christoph Links, then ayoung book editor. “The Wall hadn’t actually been opened, but so manypeople came and pushed toward it, that the guards felt they had nochoice but to let them through.”<br /><p />


As the Berlin Wall fell, Julia and Katarina Hesse were making their entrances into the world at a West Berlin hospital.


“My mother missed the whole thing, but my father and brother watched it and later they brought home pieces of the Wall,” says Julia Hesse.


Though she has no memories of divided Germany, Julia loves her birth date.


“It’s really nice to be born on Nov. 9, 1989,” she explains. “Because on that day something good happened. People feel positive about that day.”

Hesse’s high school graduation exam, this summer, focused on the end of East Germany.

“It was curious spending so much time discussing my birth date. And when people learn my birth date, they recall what happened on that day. They get more interested in history just by speaking with me.”