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David Bowie and the Berlin Wall

David Bowie is dead. David Bowie had a strong feeling for Berlin and in 1987 he gave a concert near the Berlin Wall which created major headlines. Is the rumor that David Bowie contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall true?

When Bowie held his concert in June 1987, Berlin was no new place for him. In the 1970s he had spent three years in the city together with Iggy Pop in an attempt of an environmental change.

During this time, he produced three albums that would go to history and become his most famous.

The album Heroes

The second album in the order was titled “Heroes”, as a tribute to the eighteen-year-old who was killed by East German border guards when he tried to escape from East to West Berlin. The entire Heroes came to be characterized by the tension prevailing during the Cold War.

Concert at the Berlin Wall

We will return to June 1987. In front of the Reichstag, David Bowie conducted an open-air concert for three days. The theme of the concert was the same as the Heroes album, although Bowie did not explicitly say that it was an attempt to destabilize the situation in the city.

An illegal radio station broadcasts live

In 1987, rock music from the West was still controversial. The youths starred for influences from the West, but music and TV outside of approved frequencies were forbidden.

Nevertheless, many East Berliners listened to the American radio broadcast from the US sector in Berlin. The Berlin Wall could not stop the radio waves. This radio station got the right to live broadcast the whole concert to everyone’s delight.

The residents of East Berlin saw this action as a further confirmation that the Berlin Wall had to be demolished.

The third day of the concert became violent

On the second day of the concert, Bowie began to tell in German that the song Heroes was dedicated to those on “the other side of the wall”.

On the last and third days, the East German authorities received enough popular culture from the West. When the Genesis rock band played from the scene, the police violently attacked the young people gathered near the wall to try to hear the concert.

Many young people hit the ground and around 200 people were arrested. Observers believe that this action sparked an accelerated revolt against the Berlin Wall. It was all about people who gathered to listen to music and it was difficult for the East German authorities to justify.

David Bowie’s role in the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Around two years later, the Berlin Wall fell. What was David Bowie’s role in this? With the results in hand, you can say that Bowie’s efforts certainly spurred the people, which in turn resulted in the violent police attack against the East German youth, which really sparked the sparkle.

Bowie’s prominent cannot be said to be a reason for the fall of the Berlin Wall, but it became another pain in the ass in a social system that only a few frenetic clung to.

David Bowie died 69 years old in the suites of cancer.

In Berlin, you can join Bowie’s footsteps on a musical walk organized on a regular basis.

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