On the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, two major soccer teams in Germany had an apt celebration themselves: their biggest admirers tore down an artificial “Berlin Wall.”
Soccer fans tore down the fake wall across the middle of the field at Hertha Berlin’s Olympiastadion before the Bundesliga match against Leipzig on Saturday, as The Associated Press reported.
Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the East German government announcing that the border between communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin, demarcated by the Berlin Wall, was open.
There was a stark contrast between the western side of the wall, which had a free press, travel, and elections and the eastern communist side, which had travel restrictions, barbed wire and the ruthless secret police.
The Berlin Wall was constructed nearly overnight in 1961 with barbed wire and barricades cutting through the city after nearly 2.5 million East Germans escaped to the west. The wall divided Germany for nearly 28 years and served as a symbol of the Cold War.
Many people died trying to get over the barrier through the years.
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Hertha had asked the German soccer league for a home game to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989. The club turned back the clock with a retro scoreboard and by wearing retro white jerseys with a Berlin bear on the front, based on the shirts the team wore in its first match two days after “Mauerfall” in 1989.
Hertha marked the occasion by erecting one symbolic “Berlin Wall” in the middle of the pitch and another on the running track.
Hertha supporters waved blue and white flags behind a choreography of the Brandenburg Gate as an iconic East German Trabant car burst through the wall in front of its fans at the eastern end of the stadium.
The Trabant’s revving gave way to the David Bowie tune “Heroes,” as the walls came down in time for the match.