Talking Location With author Leigh Russell – YORK
1989 The Berlin Wall (My Part in its Downfall)
Location(s): Berlin, Germany
1989: The Berlin Wall (My Part in its Downfall) It was an event that changed history, bringing the Cold War to a sudden, unexpected end and seeing the collapse not just of Communism but of the Soviet Union itself. Stereotypes disappeared overnight, and the maps of a continent had to be redrawn. Peter Millar was in the middle of it, literally caught in Checkpoint Charlie between bemused East German border guards and drunk Western revellers prematurely celebrating the end of an era. For over a decade Millar had been living in East Berlin, as well as Warsaw and Moscow, and in this engaging, garrulous, bibulous memoir we follow him on a journey in the heart of Cold War Europe, from the carousing bars of 1970s Fleet Street to the East Berlin corner pub with its eclectic cast of characters who embodied the reality of living on the wrong side of the Wall. We relive the night that it all disintegrated, and its curious domino-like effect on Eastern Europe. We found out how Peter Millar felt when he opened his Stasi file and discovered which of his friends had or hadn’t been spying on him. A compelling, amazingly insightful and entertaining read, this book swiftly dispatches the mythology of the Fall and brings Peter Millar’s characteristic wit and insight to one of the most significant moments in history.
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