How Switzerland froze when the Berlin Wall came down

Swiss politicians kept a close eye on the fall of the Berlin Wall exactly 30 years ago, but the mood of celebration was mixed with a sense of clumsiness and helplessness. Faced with the end of the Cold War, many people didn’t know what to say or do.  On November 9, 1989, the Iron Curtain separating East and West Germany turned from a death strip into an old concrete wall. The joy was also great in Switzerland: radio stations repeatedly played David Hasselhoff’s song Looking for Freedom, which became the anthem of the end of East Germany.  Standing in front of people clambering over the Wall, Swiss public television’s Berlin correspondent spoke excitedly of a “historic moment”. Many newspapers celebrated the opening of the East German border as the “twilight of the gods” of post-Communist Europe.  They were proved right: in the following weeks peaceful revolutions spread through the majority of Communist countries in Europe.  Hesitant reaction  Officially, however, Switzerland ...
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