The straw that broke the camel’s back when the wall
came down - The power of the word 'Immediately'

It is 20 years since the Berlin wall was torn down, and I heard a very
interesting discussion among some key players (including Gorbachev’s
right hand man) Sunday night on BBC Radio.  

The most important thing I learned was that all the world leaders on both
sides of the Iron Curtain had unusually great trust in each other, even
President Bush Sr. -- except for the president of France and Margaret
Thatcher, who were against reunification for Germany.

But all the other leaders saw that it was inevitable and supported freedom
for all the Soviet “client states” -- including Gorbachev (who got a lot of
grief from the hard line Communists who were clinging on).

The straw that broke the camel’s back -- or should I coin a phrase and
say, the push that popped the baby out -- came at a news conference
when an east German politician was announcing that the country was
going to allow visas for all their people to travel outside the wall.  Some
reporter asked him when that would begin.  The politician hesitated,
looked down deep in thought, and everyone in the room felt an electric
charge building for several seconds.  And then the politician looked up
and said,

Big crowds had already been gathering around the wall, and many were
listening to the news conference -- and immediately began to climb up on
the wall and began to tear it down.  So the moment when the wall -- and
the iron curtain -- came down can be pinpointed to that one word,

~~Peter Sorensen