<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-K3L4M3" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

More from Books

The GDR was not the Stasiland of grey monotony we imagine

Katja Hoyer evokes the tears and anger – but also the laughter and pride, as citizens raised their children, went on holidays and joked about their politicians

15 April 2023

9:00 AM

15 April 2023

9:00 AM

Beyond the Wall: East Germany 1949-1990 Katja Hoyer

Allen Lane, pp.465, 25

One of the great unsung heroes of modern times is Lt Colonel Harald Jäger, an East German border guard who was the commanding officer at the Bornholmer Strasse checkpoint in central Berlin on that wondrous night of 9 November 1989.

By 10.30 p.m., 20,000 people had massed in a narrow street, demanding to be allowed into the West, on the other side of the Wall – though at that crossing point the border was just a pair of gates.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Subscribe for just $2 a week

Try a month of The Spectator Australia absolutely free and without commitment. Not only that but – if you choose to continue – you’ll pay just $2 a week for your first year.

  • Unlimited access to spectator.com.au and app
  • The weekly edition on the Spectator Australia app
  • Spectator podcasts and newsletters
  • Full access to spectator.co.uk

Unlock this article


You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator Australia readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in