The Day The Wall Fell


20091103Jeremy Vine marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by looking at its history, from construction in 1961, to the day it was finally breached on 9 November 1989.

Jeremy visits the city to examine what remains of the Wall and speaks to those who lived on both sides - East and West.

He visits some of the key locations in the Wall's history including Checkpoint Charlie; the Brandenburg Gate; Bernauer Strasse, which was cut in two in 1961; and Mauerstrasse, where the largest remaining section of the Wall exists today.

Jeremy explores why the Wall went up in the first place, why it came down and asks whether the psychological scars of a divided Germany still remain.

The programme contains firsthand testimony from Germans who escaped from the East and those who helped them.

It also considers what it was like to live in a state controlled by the secret police or Stasi and hears from a political reformer who was held in the notorious Hohenschönhausen prison.

He considers to what extent the phenomenon of ostalgie"" or nostalgia for life in the former East Germany still exists, particularly as some former Stasi and government officials have prospered since the Wall came down 20 years ago.

There are interviews with escapee Joachim Neuman, who spent two years working on tunnels under the Wall to bring his girlfriend to the West; and escapee Irmgard Muller, who escaped from East Berlin under a false passport to be with her husband.

We also hear from West Berliner Horst Seeliger, who was in East Berlin on November 9 1989, and one of the first people to cross back through the border into the West; and Vera Lengsfeld, an East German reformist politician who was imprisoned by the Stasi.

Additional contributors include historian Frederick Taylor; Sunday Times journalist Peter Millar and veteran BBC reporter Brian Hanrahan, who both covered the fall of the wall; and Ben Bradshaw, Secretary Of State for Culture, Media & Sport, who was a young BBC reporter in Berlin in 1989.

Jeremy Vine marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall."