About World Freedom Day
World Freedom Day is a federal celebration of the United States declared by then-President George W. Bush to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. It commemorates the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. The observation began in 2001 and is celebrated on November 9th each year.
After the end of the Second World War, Germany was divided into East and West Germany. The two sectors were divided by the American, British and French occupied sectors of West Germany and the Soviet-controlled GDR. In 1949 East Germany became its own country and the capital Berlin fell into the Soviet occupation zone.
West Berlin was an area occupied by the Allies that was surrounded by East Germany. The wall prevented the immigration of East Berliners to West Berlin and Western Europe in general. However, between 1961 and 1989 around 5,000 people successfully escaped over the Berlin Wall and were killed in the process. The official death toll is 136 deaths.
In 1989 the East German government reduced travel restrictions from East Germany. On November 9th 1989, thousands climbed up against the wall and began to hit the wall with hammers.
World Freedom Day is celebrated by youth groups and activists who see it as a celebration of the victory over communism.