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Published on Nov 21, 2014
On November 9, 1989, Günter Schabowski, a member of the politburo, announced at a press conference that East Germans would be free to travel. He mistakenly said they would take immediate effect, prompting a breathtaking 24 hours that changed history. The new travel regulations were intended only to calm the increasingly tense situation, with citizens leaving East Germany for the West in droves via third countries. The resulting chain of events led to the fall of the Wall.