Many people in Western Europe had a remarkable drive to work on the morning of Friday 10 November 1989. They heard on their car radios that the Berlin Wall had been opened the night before, that thousands of jubilant East Germans had passed into West Berlin. There were scenes of rejoicing at the Brandenburg Gate, champagne corks popped, cars hooted as they drove in slow procession down the West Berlin Kurfürstendam. Within weeks other communist regimes in Eastern Europe collapsed, and within eighteen months the former USSR itself broke up, and its twin military and economic arms — the Warsaw Pact and Comecon — were disbanded.
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