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How an accident caused the Berlin Wall to come down

We like to think that all great events have great causes, and obviously long-term political, economic and military forces shaped the Cold War — and how it ended. But momentous events are also a sort of ambush of history, when all those long-term pressures come together in an unexpected way. The opening of the Berlin Wall, largely unintentional, was such an event, an unsettling thought for those who see history as the result of strategy and planning by pivotal leaders.

Mary Elise Sarotte — How an accident caused the Berlin Wall to come down