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World Freedom Day

HISTORY OF WORLD FREEDOM DAY

After World War II, World Freedom Day was established to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. But today, it's less about the Wall and more about what its destruction signified. It signaled the end of communism in Eastern and Central Europe, assuring everyone's liberty. President George W. Bush declared the occasion to be a federal holiday in 2001.

Germany was divided into East and West Germany after World War II concluded. The Americans, French, and British invaded West Germany, while the Soviets occupied East Germany, creating the German Democratic Republic. In 1949, East Germany became an independent country, and Berlin became part of the Soviet-controlled Germany.

A wall was built to keep people from East Berlin from migrating to West Berlin and the rest of Western Europe. Between 1961 and 1989, an estimated 5,000 persons attempted to flee over the Berlin Wall. In the process, more than 100 people were killed. Following the relaxation of travel restrictions in East Germany in 1989, thousands of people climbed the wall and smashed it with chisels and hammers. The Berlin Wall was gradually dismantled until it was finally demolished on November 9, 1989. Germany was reunited as an unified territory again a year later.

 

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