Full Citation

  • Title The Wall is Torn Apart
  • Author Leslie, Ann Harris, Paul
  • Publication Title Daily Mail
  • Collection Daily Mail
  • Date Saturday,  Nov. 11, 1989
  • Issue Number 29049
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Associated Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Associated Newspapers Limited.
As the East announces free elections, West German chief declares: We are one nation, we belong together THE WALL IS TORN APART By ANN LESLIE and PAUL HARRIS THE hated Berlin WaU was coming down last night. Bulldozers and mechanical diggers tore apart the con¬ crete to make more crossing points from the East. The historic move came at the end of one of the most tumultuous days in post-war history when East Germany's Communist rulers vowed to transform the country. They promised free elections, radical economic reforms and parliamentary con¬ trol of the feared secret police. Across the Wall, West German leader Helmut Kohl was talking of a unified Germany, telling cheering crowds: 'We are one nation.' The European map would be redrawn. 'We are and will remain one nation and we belong together,' said Chancellor Kohl. 'Step by step, we must find the way to our common future." He urged the Communists to relinquish their monopoly on power and told the East Germans: 'We are here to help you rebuild your country. You are not alone. We have all worked for this day.' Throughout the previous 24 hours 100,000 East Germans had flooded through the frontier and jubilant crowds danced on top of the barrier which has symbolized the East-West divide for 28 years. Last night West Berlin was one huge outdoor party, with traffic jammed from the city centre to the Brandenburg Gate, an emotive spot for Berliners. One main avenue, the KurfUrstendamm, was filled with laughing young East and West Berliners, the Easterners revelling innocently in the excess of Western neon and noise. At the Gate, crowds attacked the Wall with hammers and tools, breaking away large pieces which they held aloft triumphantly. About 300 East Germans watched as building workers moved in with a digger to help troops punch a hole in the Wall blocking Eberswalder Street. Wild cheering greeted each fall of concrete and a new crossing will open at the spot this morning. The astonishing change of direction by the Turn to Page 2, Col 1 INSIDE Wth 2 Ht Gi 12 F Jubilant Moment o£ history: A digger sends the Wall tumbling down late last night The road of no return Continued from Page One Stalinist state was signalled signalled by Communist Party leader Egon Krenz, a former head of the secret police. He told a rally in East Berlin that the party wanted 'to regain the people's trust' and that the reforms 'will not be turned back.' They would 'lead to a new revolution on German soil with a socialism that Is eco¬ nomically effective, politically democratic, and morally pure.' The party's policy-making central committee announced the 'action programme' of reforms after Interior Minis¬ ter Friedrich Dickel confirmed that the open frontier was not a temporary measure. 'It is permanent and will be the foundation of a new travel law,' he said. West German Foreign Min- PofnrTnc XVCILII IIJLo and open frontier here to stay' ister Hans-Dietrich Genscher announced that there would be nine new crossing points in the 100-mile Wall. The Glienecker Bridge, famed as a venue for spy swaps, opened last night. The Potsdamerplatz, a now- deserted square that was the busiest intersection in Europe before World War Two, opens today. From today East German visas for private trips will be stamped in travellers' pdss- The East German flag ports. If they do not have passports and want to go immediately, the visa will be stamped on their identity cards. More than 1,000 East Germans took advantage immediately and sought a new life in the West. Another 7,000 arrived in West Germany via Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, Mr Krenz was continuing his battle to stem the flood of refugees and cope with the demands for reform. He sacked four members of his new Politburo team, both close associates of Erich Honecker, the hardline party boss who quit last month. Chancellor Kohl telephoned Mrs Thatcher last night and in a 20-minute talk they spoke of the need for a period of calm and the overwhelming priority of establishing demo¬ cracy in East Germany. Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd will have talks with Herr Genscher next week. The Ministry of Defence was talking to the West Germans last night about using British barracks to house refugees. President Bush said he was 'elated' by the dismantling of the Wall. The Soviet Union welcomed East Germany's moves but admitted surprise at the speed of the decision and warned West Germany that changes in the border would not be tolerated. Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Gerasimov said that although the decision to throw open the border was taken by East Germany alone, Moscow had 'known all about if. He said that easing travel would help stem emigration and do away with 'stereotypes about the Iron Curtain.' East Germany's ambassador in Washington warned last night that rapidly-moving events could get out of control and lead to an East-West conflict 'by miscalculation'. Gerhard Herder said that the opening of the frontier was irreversible but he could imagine a situation where a demonstration got out of nana and people were hurt or killed. The East German mili¬ tary might intervene, causing a clash with American, British, French or West Ger¬ man troops.