The Berlin Wall was constructed by the East German government in 1961. It cut off West Berlin from East Berlin and surrounding East Germany.
The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect the socialist state, the GDR. The West maintained it was built to prevent the massive emigration at the time of the Cold War in Europe. On November 9, 1989, as the culmination of peaceful protests in the GDR, the Wall was destroyed and removed. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990.
Six weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, on December 19, 1989, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl headed to Dresden. With the big questions in flux, it would become an unexpected stepping stone towards German unity.
30 years on, we know not everyone gained from German reunification. Easterners were not the only ones who felt they lost out — the "guest workers" of the former West should also be counted among them, says Erkan Arikan.