The fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 years later

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On the night of November 9-10, 1989, Germany was the center of attention around the world. Indeed, it was that night that the 3-meter-high and 155-km-long wall that had divided the city of Berlin for 28 years was destroyed. Look at a product of the Cold War and a symbol of the division of the world into two blocks.
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On the night of November 9-10, 1989, Germany was the center of attention around the world. Indeed, it was that night that the 3-meter-high and 155-km-long wall that had divided the city of Berlin for 28 years was destroyed. The fall of the wall was therefore orchestrated, during major demonstrations, by the Germans in the eastern part.

It is important to understand that after the defeat of Germany in World War II, the winners took over the country, which was eventually divided into two sections: the West, occupied by the United States and the East, by the Soviet Union. A wall was erected in 1961 to prevent people from the East, wanting to escape poor conditions, from moving to the West where life was better. November 9, 1989 marked the end of this divide with a symbol that is still very strong today.

"The fall of the Wall and the Iron Curtain which divided post-war Europe had given rise, at the time, to hope for an era of detente and unity, of disarmament, the extension everywhere of the model of liberal democracies. . But the tide seems to have turned today. "

Source: La Presse, November 4, 2019

The construction of the Berlin Wall took place in the context of the Cold War by opposing the blocks of the East (United States) and the West (USSR). The United States and the USSR, after their post-war alliance, have opposing ideologies. So for 40 years, on both sides, there is a threat of nuclear attack. The fall of the Berlin Wall comes as the USSR breaks up and the political, economic and military institutions of the East disappear.

“The disappearance of the Eastern bloc cannot be explained solely by the coming to power of Gorbachev and the reforms he instituted. The transformation of the balance of power throughout the period of the Cold War, from the Marshall Plan to the resignation of Gorbachev, must be taken into account in order to understand the speed with which the Berlin Wall is falling. "

Source: PFEQ, History of the 20th century

Take a look at this infographic from Journal of Montreal with the students who informs us about the protection devices of the wall and how the flight of illegal immigrants was orchestrated.

Click on the picture to zoom

Also watch this video which demonstrates in 5 key moments the events leading up to the construction and subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall.

The challenge

View this update capsule which popularizes information about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then invite students to answer these questions:

  • Why a wall?
  • How was the fall of the wall orchestrated?



Disciplines and levels targeted

- History of the 20th century

  • Cold War

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Developing and mobilizing information literacy
  • Collaborate with digital
  • Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning

Suggested digital tools

  • Augmented reality: MauAR – Berliner Mauer on iOS
  • Virtual reality: VR headset and YouTube videos
  • Mind map: Miro or Coggle
  • Collaborative document: Google Doc or Microsoft Word
  • Sketchnote: Paper

Educational intention of the guide

At the end of these activities, the student will be able to understand what the Berlin Wall represented in the context of the Cold War.

Objectives of the activities

  • Create a mind map about the Berlin Wall.
  • Discover the Berlin Wall in augmented and virtual reality.
  • Analyze, using the historical method, a work that was found on the Berlin Wall.
  • Produce a sketchnote to define the concept of the Cold War.

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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