News Review - 15 Nov 2019
fallOfTheWall

Thirty years ago - Berlin 1989 - the end of an era…

The Fall Of “The Wall”

To the world at large, this event seemed to come out of a clear blue sky, totally unexpected, like “…a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh SUDDENLY at an instant” (Isaiah 30:13).

But in hindsight, the “cracks in the wall” were there for all to see!

Steps To Unity

June 12, 1987 President Reagan, in a speech in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, demands: ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’

July 17, 1989 Border controls lifted between Hungary and Austria. GDR citizens flee to the West

October 7 During a visit to the GDR, Gorbachev urges reform

October 18 Erich Honecker, East Germany’s head of state, resigns

November 4 500,000 people demonstrate in East Berlin, demanding reform

November 9 The Politburo announces that East Germans are allowed to move freely into West Germany

November 10 The Brandenburg Gate is opened

October 3, 1990 Germany reunited!” ( margaretthatcher.org)


All these events led up to an even bigger change in world politics, the collapse of the Soviet Union, just over one year later, on 26th December 1991

The Man Of The Moment: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev

“Concessions made by Mikhail Gorbachev, a Soviet reformer who came to power in 1985, were key to the agreement.

Axel Klausmeier, director of the Berlin Wall Foundation, said Gorbachev’s policies of ‘glasnost’ (openness) and ‘perestroika’ (reform) were a clear break from the Brezhnev doctrine — a policy that aimed to ensure that Warsaw Pact countries (the Soviet Union and its satellites) would not diverge from the political course set out by the Kremlin.

With Gorbachev, said Klausmeier, suddenly there was a new policy: ‘No matter what happens in our socialist brother countries, these states are responsible for themselves.’

Increasingly, civil rights activists felt emboldened to push for glasnost and perestroika in their own countries. In Poland, contacts between communist leaders and the union pro-democracy movement Solidarity, which was still officially banned, began as early as the summer of 1988.

Those contacts led to the so-called Round Table Talks, in which not only members of the political opposition took part but also representatives from the country’s highly influential Catholic Church.

The Vatican Involved

“[Europe’s] leaders talk continually of POLITICAL union – which means, also, military. So far they have been unable to bring about full political union. This will be made possible by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, who alone can be the symbol of unity to which they can look.” ( The US and GB in Prophecy – Chapter 14)

Among those church representatives was Karol Jozef Wojtyla, who, as Pope John Paul II, openly displayed sympathy toward the Solidarity movement during the three trips he made to his homeland as Pontiff. His authority as head of the Catholic Church strengthened the belief among opponents of the communist government that a positive turn of fate might be at hand.

In September, tens of thousands of citizens began gathering in the streets of Leipzig each Monday for demonstrations. October 9, 1989 — which saw 70,000 people gather to peacefully protest for change — is largely seen as the high point of the demonstration movement… when the government did nothing to intervene, the opposition had the feeling they had won.

A few days later, the head of the East German state and general secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), Erich Honecker, was forced from power and replaced by Egon Krenz, who signaled a willingness to meet with civil rights activists.

Soon after, on November 4, Berlin’s Alexanderplatz became the site of the largest demonstration in the country’s history.

Five days later, on November 9, 1989, it was Schabowski who announced East Germany’s new travel policy. In doing so, whether intentionally or not, he had ordered the toppling of the Berlin Wall. Not a single shot was fired at the border. The door to freedom was flung wide open — and it could never be shut again.

Back in 1952, nine years before the Berlin Wall was built, The Good News warned:

Russia may give East Germany back to the Germans and will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria to complete the ten nation union.” ( The Good News - April 1952)

In the months that followed, people across the entire Eastern Bloc fought for their freedom. Things eventually came full circle when the Soviet Union collapsed in late 1991. But the first step was taken when Gorbachev came to power in 1985. Six years later, in 1991, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” ( dw.com)

The Fall Of The Wall

“In was amid that atmosphere of reform that, on the evening of November 9, 1989, Gunter Schabowski, an East German government official, made a surprising announcement at a press conference.

‘Permanent relocations,’ he said, ‘can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR [East Germany] into the FRG [West Germany] or West Berlin.’ This news was set out as an incremental change in policy. But, after reporter Riccardo Ehrman asked when the regulations would take effect, Schabowski replied, ‘As far as I know, it takes effect immediately, without delay.’

Schabowski’s press conference was the lead story on West Germany’s two main news programs that night, at 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm, with the takeaway being that the Wall, while it still stood, was no longer the firm dividing line it had long been. That night, anchorman Hanns Joachim Friedrichs proclaimed, ‘This 9 November is a historic day. The GDR has announced that, starting immediately, its borders are open to everyone. The gates in the Wall stand open wide.

1985 – The message never changed!

“Do not discount the possibility that this resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire may start by some arrangement to reunite East and West Germany first. Before World War II, a mutual accord had been made between Germany and Russia. History often repeats itself.”
( The Plain Truth - October 1985)

This was all the East German populace needed to hear. Citizens flocked to the border en masse sometime around 9:00 pm and found that, after initial confusion, the border guards were indeed letting people cross. This was a crucial flashpoint in the history between the two sides, as the guards could have easily fired on the crowd. However, according to historian Mary Elise Sarotte in her book The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall, no one among the East German authorities wanted to take the personal authority of issuing orders leading to the use of lethal force.

By 11:00 pm, Harald Jager, the commander of the Bornholmer Strasse border crossing, let the guards open the checkpoints, allowing people to pass without their identities checked.

Over that weekend, more than 2 million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin to participate in the mass celebration .” ( time.com)

The Rise Of A New And Dangerous European Power?

“By the morning of November 10, the GDR is dead. That day, Anatoly Chernyaev, an advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev, writes in his diary: ‘The Berlin Wall has collapsed. This entire era in the history of the socialist system is over… That is what Gorbachev has done. And he has indeed turned out to be a great leader. He has sensed the pace of history and helped history to find a natural channel.

23:55 Somewhere in the chaos, a young Angela Merkel has made it through the Bornholmer crossing. From the west side of the Wall, she phones her aunt in Hamburg – and then, presumably, joins the celebrations. This is the night that sets Merkel on her path to be chancellor of Germany. She will later join the new East German party, Democratic Awakening, and there begin her political career.

23:35 Nearby, NBC’s Barrie Dunsmore is supposed to be making a similar live broadcast. Instead, he can provide only his voice while his staff try to book a video link.

At this point in history, satellite lines for video are very limited, and must be booked hours, if not days, in advance. Tonight, for obvious reasons, they are chock-a-block. Nobody had expected this to happen, so nobody had booked a satellite.

23:06 By now, Margaret Thatcher is watching the news from Berlin on TV. The next morning, she says:

‘I think it is a great day for freedom. I watched the scenes on television last night and again this morning because I felt one ought not only hear about them but see them because you see the joy on people’s faces and you see what freedom means to them; it makes you realise that you cannot stifle or suppress people’s desire for liberty and so I watched with the same joy as everyone else and I hope that they will be a prelude to the Berlin Wall coming down.’

But amidst all this, Thatcher - who was a young adult throughout the Second World War - was worried. Memos from the next few months show her deep unease about German reunification.

If both Germany’s were allowed to join, she feared, it would mean the rise of a new and dangerous European power.( telegraph.co.uk)


The Iron Lady’s View on German Reunification:

‘“We beat the Germans twice, and now they’re back,” she told a meeting of European leaders a month later.’ ( telegraph.co.uk)

“What Will Sovereign United Germany Be Like?”

“On the eve of reunification, which took place on 3 October 1990, a joint dispatch by the British ambassadors to East and West Germany forecast ‘the likely nature and aspirations’ of the new united country.

‘Germany is again in the ascendant. With the scars of 1933-45 still vivid in many memories, this has not surprisingly caused concern in other parts of Europe, ’ stated the dispatch from Patrick Eyers, the ambassador to East Germany, and Mallaby.

‘Twice bitten, thrice vigilant. Germany’s neighbours naturally wonder how far the Germans have really changed since 1945, and whether following unification there will be another shift in the behaviour of a nation that so often has proved volatile. What will sovereign united Germany be like?’( theguardian.com)

Mrs Thatcher Feared A Resurgent Germany

“The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 marked the end of the Cold War and paved the way for communist East Germany to be reunited with West Germany, ending the division that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

But while the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe represented a triumph for the West, Mrs Thatcher feared a resurgent Germany would dominate the Continent.

Charles Powell, her long-standing foreign adviser noted, ‘The way in which the Germans currently used their elbows and threw their weight about in the European community suggested that a lot had still not changed.’ He added: ‘In sum, no-one had serious misgivings about the present leaders or political elite of Germany. But what about ten, fifteen or twenty years from now?

‘Could some of the unhappy characteristics of the past re-emerge with just as destructive consequences?’( telegraph.co.uk)

Thirty Years Later…

Are some “unhappy characteristics” of the past re-emerging?

“Europe must also learn the language of power." This is the attitude of a German-led Europe.

“Incoming EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, has set alarm bells ringing with a bullish speech in which she suggested the bloc was ready to ditch ‘soft power’ and flex its ‘muscles’ in a bid to ‘assert itself on the world’, in an indication that she is ready to push for a European army.

‘Soft power alone won’t suffice today if we Europeans want to assert ourselves in the world. Europe must also learn the language of power. That means on the one hand developing our own muscles - where for a long time we could lean on others, for example in security policy.’ She added: ‘We must go our own European way with confidence’.( express.co.uk)

Germany Should Establish An “Ability To Act" Globally

“German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has unveiled a proposal to increase spending on the armed forces and establish an organization styled after the US National Security Council that would execute a more assertive defense policy.

The defense minister stressed that the German parliament, the Bundestag, would remain in charge of determining when to send soldiers into harm’s way. But she argued that accelerated parliamentary consideration should be available when the question is on the table of whether to participate in missions led by the United Nations, NATO or together with ‘European partners.’ At the end of the day, Kramp-Karrenbauer argued, Germany should strive to establish an ‘ability to act’ globally commensurate with the country’s status as a powerhouse in Europe.( defensenews.com)

Germany Should Be Deploying Its Military Abroad

“Germany should be deploying its military proactively abroad, instead of ‘staying on the sidelines’, according to the country’s Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is also Merkel’s successor as head of the ruling conservatives CDU.

‘A country of our size, with our economic and technological power, our geostrategic position and global interests, cannot just stand on the sidelines and watch,’ she said. ‘Germany must participate in international debates and drive them forward,’ the German Defense Minister argued, as cited by DW.” ( european-views.com)

Germany’s Military Is Deployed Abroad!

Africa: In addition to German advisers stationed in Mali, German military serves as part of an EU mission to Mali. Around 840 German soldiers actively participate in the mission at the moment. Somalia: The Bundeswehr is also involved in the EU’s Operation Atalanta mission designed to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.

NATO: From peacekeeping to deterrence, Germany’s Bundeswehr has since been deployed in several countries across the globe in defence of its allies, including Afghanistan..

More interesting prophetically, is the German Base in Jordan.

“250 German soldiers, six fighter jets and an aerial refuelling tanker are moving from Turkey to Jordan. Colonel Frank Gräfe is in charge of coordinating the move.

Since December 2015, Germany has been part of the global coalition against the so-called ‘Islamic State’ group (Counter Daesh). The soldiers of the German Armed Forces had been stationed at Incirlik air base in Turkey, supporting the coalition with a tanker aircraft and reconnaissance flights.

In early June 2017, Germany’s federal government decided to withdraw from Incirlik because the Turkish government had refused to allow members of Germany’s parliament to visit the base. Instead, 250 soldiers, six Tornado fighter jets and a tanker will be stationed at Al-Azraq air base in Jordan.” ( deutschland.de)

German Politics Changing

On the night the Berlin Wall came down, a young Angela Merkel entered West Berlin through the Bornholmer crossing. Just 16 years later, in 2005, she was elected Chancellor of Germany.

A shrewd political survivor, she cultivated the image of a prudent and pragmatic leader and was once dubbed the Queen of Germany and even the Empress of Europe. With her "grand coalition" government increasingly unstable, her last years of power look set to be fraught with difficulties. However, until she leaves, Mrs Merkel remains one of the longest-serving heads of the CDU, and of modern Germany itself.

The Rise Of The Right

The situation is now made far more complex with the rise of the right wing AfD party. Their sudden rise has shocked many. As the following article points out, there could even be collaboration between the party formally led by Mrs Merkel, the CDU, and the AfD, unthinkable until now! The entire political spectrum is now shifting to the right.

“Following the recent election in the state of Thuringia, there is a growing chorus of voices within Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) calling for collaboration with the extreme right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Meanwhile the Left Party, which won the largest vote in the state election and can fill the post of state premier for the next five years (with its state chief Bodo Ramelow), is seeking to form an alliance with the CDU. In this way the entire political spectrum is shifting to the right.( wsws.org)

Germany’s “Hard Earned Prosperity” Under Threat

The severity of the following warning can be gauged by the language used… “emergency plans”… “a financial crisis”… “an economic collapse!”

“Brussels fears that the ‘worst is still to come’ for the EU economy, after several shock waves this week sparked fears of an economic collapse. Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a fresh warning that Europe’s economy has weakened this year. They urged Europe to prepare emergency plans to cope with a looming economic slump.

The fund issued an urgent warning the Eurozone’s economy has weakened significantly and urged EU leaders to prepare for a financial crisis.( express.co.uk)

“Nobody Expected All This To Happen…”

But we should not have been taken unawares. We were warned that this could happen way back in 1952, nine years before the Berlin Wall was even built, that Germany could be reunited. And therefore, it is vital that we remain wide-awake and alert to what is currently taking place – alert to prophecy being actively fulfilled:

“But the Bible commands, ‘PROVE ALL THINGS.’ That includes the existence of God! In the Bible, God says, ‘PROVE me now, herewith.’ The Bible says the scoffers ‘are without excuse,’ because the PROOF of God’s reality is clearly seen, even in nature. God Himself, in the Bible, offers the PROOF of fulfilled prophecies. He offers, though few experience this proof, the PROOF of answered prayer.” ( The Good News – June/July 1981)

PROPHECY Is A Proof Of God and Bible

“The Bible purports to be the infallible, divine revelation of truth, revealed by the very Creator and Ruler of the universe. But can you prove it? PROPHECY is a proof of God, a proof of the divine revelation of the Bible.( The Plain Truth – February 1986)

Remember who inspired the prophecies to be written… Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, He made it very clear…

“And now I have told you BEFORE it come to pass, that, WHEN IT IS COME TO PASS, YE MIGHT BELIEVE.” (John 14:29)