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On the night of 9th November 1989, east Berliners streamed into west Berlin. On 3rd October 1990, less than a year later, Germany was reborn. What would have happened if the wall had stayed intact?

Egon Krenz, the transitional leader in east Berlin, would have been forced to liberalise travel by allowing limited stays in the west. East Germans would have been exposed to the material bounty of the Federal Republic, albeit in what the east German media termed “an orderly and reflective fashion.” Many would have stayed, despite being urged by Bonn to return home.

This caused a drastic…

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