Publish Date: Nov. 20, 1989
Cover Story: Freedom! The Berlin Wall
How TIME Covered the News: Spanning 28 miles and lasting 28 years, the Berlin Wall was a symbol of the grim divides of the Cold War. Its fall offered another metaphor—a euphoric glimpse of the promise of democracy and a united Europe.
“West Berliners pulled East Berliners to the top of the barrier along which in years past many an East German had been shot while trying to escape; at times the Wall almost disappeared beneath waves of humanity. They tooted trumpets and danced on the top. They brought out hammers and chisels and whacked away at the hated symbol of imprisonment, knocking loose chunks of concrete and waving them triumphantly before television cameras.”