This Week in HistoryThis Week in History: Week 45 (9 November 1989)

The Berlin Wall Falls

For the first time since it was built in 1961, free movement is allowed through the Berlin Wall.

In 1989, people were allowed to move freely through checkpoints in the Berlin Wall for the first time since it was built in 1961. The wall was intended to prevent the movement of people between communist East Berlin and capitalist West Berlin. Its subsequent destruction became a powerful symbol of the end of the "Cold War".

checkpoint (noun): place where a person's identity and papers are checked by the authorities
intend (verb): have in mind; plan
communist (adjective): in accordance with the idea of collective, not private, ownership
capitalist (adjective): operating according to the idea of private ownership
subsequent (adjective): coming next in time; following
destruction (noun): the breaking down of something that was previously built

Mini Quiz

1. The Berlin Wall was built in order to
a) stop communism from spreading into Western Europe
b) help governments to control people's movements
c) provide jobs for people who were unemployed

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2. Since 1989, people have been able to
a) open new checkpoints in the Berlin Wall
b) visit friends in communist East Berlin
c) move freely throughout Berlin

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3. The phrase "The Cold War" refers to the global power struggle from 1945 to 1990 between a group of communist countries led by the USSR and a group of
a) capitalist countries led by the USA
b) developing countries led by China
c) democratic countries led by the UN

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Contributor: Matt Errey creator of Word Up