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Historical moments in jeans: the fall of the Berlin Wall

Momentos históricos en jeans: la caída del Muro de Berlín

Historical moments in jeans: the fall of the Berlin Wall

Since it emerged back in the 17th century in Nimes -France- as a highly resistant fabric perfect for combating the storm of time, denim has been present in many of the most important and significant moments in our history, including the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989, which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary.

After the division of Germany at the end of World War II, Berlin was fractured into four sectors of occupation: Soviet, American, French and English. The bad relations between communists and allies, and the constant disputes between them, gave rise to the creation of two Germanys: in 1949 finally the 3 western sectors were unified in the so-called Federal Republic of Germany -FRG- and the Soviet sector was renamed the German Republic. German Democratic Republic -GDR-.

The weakened economy of the GDR, which contrasted sharply with the flourishing situation in the FRG, caused up to 1961 about 3 million Germans to move from the Soviet sector to the West. Aware of this, on August 12 of that same year, the RDA began to build a great wall that would prevent the population from escaping to the western side.

What began as a provisional wall became a concrete wall about 4 meters high reinforced on the inside with steel cables to increase its resistance. The Berlin Wall was surrounded by a moat, a barbed wire fence, a road where military patrols circulated, alarm systems and watchtowers.

Despite the strict security measures, in the 28 years of life of the Berlin Wall, more than 5,000 people tried to cross it: more than 3,000 were arrested and about 100 died in the attempt.

Berlin Wall demonstrations.

Demonstration of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The opening of the borders between Austria and Hungary in May 1989 and the numerous and massive demonstrations on Alexanderplatz by citizens of the Soviet sector caused the GDR to finally allow passage to the west on November 9, 1989. The next day the citizens gathered around the Wall to begin the collapse of what was a symbol of the Cold War.

The Berlin Wall.

Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fallen Berlin Wall.

But that isolation did not prevent the citizens of the Soviet sector from sharing the trends of the time. In the '80s, high -waisted, straight-cut, distressed jeans were -and are today- the essential garment in any wardrobe. You only have to take a look at the photographs to verify that the 'blue jeans' were a trend. In the images that immortalize the fall of the Berlin Wall, denim abounds in different shades of blue combined with sweatshirts and loose-fitting jackets with shoulder pads.

The wall.

And you, had you stopped to observe it?