Berlin, Germany, 1989

A West German girl leaps to reach the top of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate to witness history being made on the morning of 10th November 1989.
The previous night, East Germany’s communist rulers had decreed that the gates along the 45km barrier, which had divided Berlin and prevented people leaving the East for nearly 30 years, be opened. Few dared believe it was true.

But by 11pm on 9th November large crowds of East Germans, brimming with suppressed joy and anxiety, gathered at Checkpoint Charlie; and when the gates opened just before midnight, they streamed through into the outstretched arms of loved ones and strangers for their first taste for freedom since the wall went up in 1961.

The night’s dramatic events marked the end of the cold war.

This image reinforces Stoddart’s legacy of capturing significant moments of sociological development and thought. The excitement in the young woman’s body language is palpable in her spring-like movement, and the feeling of unification is eminent in the individuals helping to prop her up onto the firmament of the Wall. Humanity seeks to remind us that we are, ultimately, one human race, and the restorative emotions that awoke with the fall of the Berlin Wall perfectly encapsulates this notion.

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