Today is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Germany for 28 years.

The East German lieutenant colonel who gave the fateful order to throw open the gate he guarded 25 years ago said he wept in silence a few moments later as hordes of euphoric East Germans swept past him into West Berlin to get their first taste of freedom.

Harald Jäger-CC-Eric The Fish“Harald Jäger said he spent hours before his history-changing decision trying in vain to get guidance from superiors on what to do about the 20,000 protesters at his border crossing on Bornholmer Street who were clamoring to get out,” reports Reuters.

Finally he just threw the doors open, giving in to protestors’ ridicule and dares.

(READ the full Reuters story from Sydney Morning Herald)

(WATCH the inspiring commemorative video below from Google)

Photo of Harold Jäger by Eric the Fish, via CC license

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