Twenty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, How We Misremember the Cold War

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

Twenty years ago this week, the Berlin Wall was taken down ending the division of that city and, symbolically, Germany and all of Europe. Within two years of that event, the Soviet Union itself dissolved and the Cold War was over. These events were unimaginable even only a few years before they occurred. As late as the mid-1980s, it was assumed by most policy makers on both sides of the Cold War divide that the Cold War was going to go on for a long time, if not forever. While better relationships between the two sides and a softening of the repressive Communist regimes were viewed as achievable, the end of the Cold War itself, was not.

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Harriman Institute
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September 29, 2011