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Workers Start Wall Tumbling at Brandenburg

December 22, 1989|From Reuters

EAST BERLIN — East German border workers began dismantling the Berlin Wall at the historic Brandenburg Gate on Thursday night to make a new crossing point between East and West Berlin.

Shortly after 10 p.m., a crane began lifting the cylindrical concrete sections from the top of the wall and a worker with a pneumatic drill started demolishing part of it.

An East German border guard estimated that the work would only take about 90 minutes as two teams of 10 border guard engineers cut openings to the left and right of the massive Brandenburg Gate.

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and East German Prime Minister Hans Modrow are due to inaugurate the new crossing with the mayors of East and West Berlin today.

Crowds cheered on the western side of the wall and some climbed trees to get a better view of the work. The scene was brightly lit by the floodlights that have illuminated the 12 columned-gate since it was walled off 28 years ago.

The crossing point--two gates for one-way movement in each direction--will be for pedestrians only.

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