Wednesday, November 09, 2022

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Namibian parliamentary elections in November 1989

On Thursday, 9 November 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, my friend Jim was was working as a Peace Corps teacher in Swaziland. That evening, he and his housemates turned on the radio to hear about the Namibian parliamentary elections taking place that week, the first in the country's history. The big issue was how South Africa would react to the results. When the BBC news announced the news from Germany, Jim (who's an economist, not a historian or Germanist) had to explain to his Swazi friends not only why it was such a big deal but also how it came to pass that Germany was divided in the first place. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 9 November 2022)

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