Login / Register

The mistake that toppled the Berlin Wall

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


You disliked this video. Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry, only registred users can create playlists.

Channel: Vox
Categories: Geography   |   Government & Politics   |   Society / Culture   |   Social Science  
 Find Related Videos  added


One of the Cold War's biggest moments began at a routine press conference.

Become a Video Lab member!

The fall of the Berlin Wall has a lot of memorable moments: US President Ronald Reagans declaration to tear down this wall; David Hasselhoff singing at the Brandenburg Gate; and Berliners wielding pickaxes and hammers, tearing apart the visible symbol of a divided Europe.

But a less spectacular moment actually triggered the crumbling of the wall. It happened at a routine press conference on November 9th, 1989, when East German spokesperson Gnter Schabowski was handed an announcement about relaxed travel regulations. In his lack of preparation, he mistakenly insinuated that the checkpoints in the Berlin Wall which up until then were guarded by soldiers with orders to shoot anyone trying to cross were now open (das sofort, unverzglich). They werent, but that announcement was all East Berliners needed to storm the wall and demand they be allowed to cross into West Berlin. After that, the wall became obsolete, and soon fell.

Follow the timeline leading up to fall here: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

Watch our full video catalog:

Follow Vox on Facebook:

Or Twitter:

Watch our full video catalog:
Follow Vox on Facebook:
Or Twitter:

Post your comment


Be the first to comment