PLEDGE NOW
How the Wall Really Fell
Calling for democratic reforms, some of the one million demonstrators in East Berlin on November 4, 1989, hold a sign reading "Who lies once cannot be trusted" at the Palace of the Republic. The building housing the Communist Parliament is decorated with the national emblem, the hammer and pair of compasses. (AP)

Calling for democratic reforms, some of the one million demonstrators in East Berlin on November 4, 1989, hold a sign reading "Who lies once cannot be trusted" at the Palace of the Republic. The building housing the Communist Parliament is decorated with the national emblem, the hammer and pair of compasses. (AP)

Twenty years ago this fall there was an earthquake brewing in Eastern Europe.

On November 9, 1989, the almost unthinkable happened. The Berlin Wall came down. The front line of the Soviet empire fell. It was astounding.

Americans have come to think it fell because Ronald Reagan said, “Tear down this wall!” My guest today gives Reagan his due, but says that is a simplification tied directly to a myth that drove the Iraq War. The facts of 1989, he says, are far richer.

This hour, On Point: The real story of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

Joining us from New York City is Michael Meyer. He was Newsweek bureau chief for Germany, Central Europe, and the Balkans from 1988 to 1992. His new book is “The Year that Changed the World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall.” He is now director of communications and chief speechwriter for Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 5, 2015
raqi security forces and allied Shiite militiamen prepare to attack Islamic State extremists in Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  (AP)

Fresh upheaval in Iraq. Millions now displaced. Warnings of crisis and worse to come.

May 5, 2015

Anthony Doerr just won the Pulitzer Prize for his bestselling book “All the Light We Cannot See.” He joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 4, 2015
In this March 26, 2015 photo, Yvonne DeCory, a suicide-prevention outreach worker, stands in her small office in the basement of the Post Office in Pine Ridge, S.D. Nearly 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded on the reservation between 2004 and 2013. DeCory said few weeks go by with a suicide. (AP)

After clusters of high school suicides in California, Virginia, and Massachusetts, we look at the pressure parents put on teenagers to succeed.

 
May 4, 2015
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks during a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. (AP)

Second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, assault and more. We’ll look at the charges announced for six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: May 01, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015

What happens when we change show topics last minute, and also what happens when a New York Times headline seems to accuse Kristie Alley of being responsible for the infamous George Washington Bridge lane closures.

More »
3 Comments
 
How To Help The Survivors Of Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake
Friday, May 1, 2015

Where and how to contribute aid to the relief effort in Nepal.

More »
4 Comments
 
Your Favorite Musical Memories Of Rain
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

When we say ‘rain,’ you say ‘…?’ (Here’s what you really said when we said ‘rain.’)

More »
6 Comments