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The Failure of Capitalism After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

(Nov. 10,2009) — Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, symbolizing the end of Communist power in 1989 and the beginning of a reunification of Germany. The wall was a separation created between East Berlin and West Berlin as a result of the agreement between the four post-World War II allied powers: the Americans, British, French and the Soviet Union. After concerted grassroots resistance, the East German leadership announced on November 9th 1989 that East Germans would be allowed to travel freely to the West. That night, tens of thousands of Germans from both sides gathered and crossed the wall, picking apart pieces of it. The wall was eventually removed altogether and pieces of it are now enshrined in museums across the world. Yesterday’s anniversary was marked with world leaders participating in ceremonies and thousands of Berliners and tourists flocking to the streets of the city. But in the context of today’s global recession, what can be said about the promise of capitalism? And, what about walls that exist today, such as the US-Mexico border, and the so-called Separation wall in the Palestinian territories?

GUEST: Victor Grossman, American journalist and author, is a resident of East Berlin for many years. He is the author of Crossing the River: A Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War, and Life in East Germany

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