The Berlin Wall, III




piece decade tear down
appear divide (2) bridge (2)
peace former stand/stood/stood
crack enduring tear/tore/torn
split crumble build/built/built
barb trap (2) barbed wire
role Cold War rise/rose/risen
quest flow (2) overwhelmed
prove strip (2) pay tribute
proud criticize follow (2)
crowd demand let through
choice mine (2) stamp (2)
guard step back as fast as they could
relish dozen (2) nationalism
unify promise expectation
fade point (4) rise/rose/risen
honest fragment chancellor
boast defense spend/spent/spent
warn pivotal authoritarianism
call on attempt throw/threw/thrown
take for granted








Thirty years ago today, the Berlin Wall, one of the most enduring symbols of the Cold War in Europe, came down piece by piece.

It was a pivotal moment: the Wall divided the city between the Communist East and the Free West.

During the three decades that it stood, several world leaders, including former presidents Kennedy and Reagan, called on the Soviets to tear it down.

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These flowers in the fragments of the Berlin Wall mark thirty years since the symbol of the split between communism and democracy began to crumble.

Built by Soviet-allied East Germany in 1961, the Wall began as barbed-wire going up overnight. People in East Berlin woke up to learn they were trapped.

Over the years, thousands tried to bridge the twenty-seven mile (43 km) Wall. For dozens of them, the attempt to cross the so-called “Death Strip”, guarded by soldiers and filled with mines, proved deadly.

John F. Kennedy visited the Wall in 1963, paying tribute to Berliners’ quest for freedom.

In the world of freedom, the proudest boasting is, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

In 1987, Ronald Reagan followed, with a message for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall.”

Two years later, the people did. Crowds on the eastern side of the Wall demanded they be let through.

Overwhelmed border guards had no choice but to step back.

New Reporter: “Now their job is to stamp passports as fast as they can to keep the flow to the West moving; and many of them seem to relish their new role.

Border Guard: “That’s good.”

The fall of the Berlin Wall pointed to the end of the Cold War, and the promise of a unified, more democratic world.

But three decades later, that expectation has faded, with the rise of nationalism, and cracks appearing on the European Union and NATO.

In Berlin yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on NATO nations to spend more on their defenses. He also criticized Russia and China.

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State: “Today, authoritarianism is just a stone’s throw away. It’s rising, and if we’re honest, it never really went away, completely.”

And today, German chancellor, Angela Merkel, urged Europe to defend freedom and democracy, warning that they should never be taken for granted.


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Germany. The Berlin Wall had been built to keep out foreign invasions, particularly by NATO. True or false?

Czech Republic.
Was the Wall built hundreds of years ago, during the Middle-Ages?

Were the citizens of East Berlin and Germany perfectly content and satisfied with their lives?
The Berlin Wall merely separated West and East Berlin. Is this right or wrong? Did many tourists visit it?

Did the communist authorities order the demolition of the Wall?

The Fall of the Berlin Wall was an anticlimax; since then the world has become entirely democratic and peaceful. Is this correct or incorrect?

Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia.
Are today’s leaders more optimistic, more pessimistic, both, neither, in the middle, or the same as before?

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
I remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. Yes or no? Do your parents or grandparents remember the fall of the Berlin Wall? What was the atmosphere like?

Montenegro, Macedonia. Everything turned out wonderful and perfect after the fall of the Berlin Wall. What do you think?

Romania, Bulgaria. Are there similar situations in other parts of the world?

Albania, Kosovo. What could happen in the future?

Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan. What could or should people and governments do?

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