VOA – Germany is preparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall Saturday. Built in 1961 by the Communist government of East Germany, the wall was meant to stop the flood of its citizens fleeing to the West. Hundreds were shot dead trying to run across the frontier. On the night of Nov. 9, 1989, tens of thousands of people breached the wall and tore it down, seen as a key moment in the demise of the Soviet Union.

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