"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wMonday, June 07, 2004

YO, GORBACHEV, ABOUT THIS WALL...: We've posted my review of Bill Buckley's The Fall of the Berlin Wall (from the May issue) as part of our Reagan coverage today. It concludes:

At a press conference on the night of November 9, 1989, East German party chief G√ľnter Schabowski announced that freedom of movement had been reinstated. The Volk took to the streets in celebration. By midnight, hundreds of Germans were dancing atop the Brandenburg Gate. The next day "hundreds of Berliners, West and East, were there with real chisels and claw hammers and screwdrivers and sledgehammers to pry loose their own piece of the wall." These being Germans, they made quick work of it.

The physical destruction of the wall is related in rapid fire fashion -- less than three pages, all told -- because it was almost anticlimactic, and because Buckley has bigger fish to harpoon. The inflexible ideology that built the wall and kept it in place began to tumble long before it did. Granted, the West gave Karl Marx's legacy the decisive push, but it was already teetering and frail, straining under the weight of its own inhumanity. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 8:54 AM