World Freedom Day: Theme, History, Significance

World Freedom Day is a federal holiday celebrated on November 9. On this day in 1989, a significant event in history took place when the Berlin Wall came down. The wall separated families and communities for nearly three decades. Today it means the rise of democracy and freedom and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

World Freedom Day: History

World Freedom Day was created to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall after World War II. But today it is not so much about the Wall, but rather what its fall represented. It marked the end of communism throughout Eastern and Central Europe and ensured freedom for all. The holiday was established as a federal holiday in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

After the end of World War II, Germany was divided into East and West Germany. West Germany was occupied by the Americans, French and British, and East Germany became the Soviet-occupied German Democratic Republic. East Germany gained the status of an independent country in 1949, and the city of Berlin became part of Soviet-controlled Germany.

A wall was created to prevent the immigration of people from East Berlin to West Berlin and the rest of Western Europe. From 1961 to 1989, an estimated 5,000 people escaped over the Berlin Wall. More than 100 people were killed in the process. In 1989, travel restrictions were eased in East Germany, which led to thousands of people eagerly climbing the wall and hammering at the wall with chisels and hammers. The Berlin Wall was chipped away bit by bit and finally fell on November 9, 1989. A year later, Germany became a unified territory again.


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