Talk about transition
The extent of WWII was immense. I can't imagine how long it would take to study how every country became involved and why. Berlin happened to be the capital city for this man to rise to power, take power of a nation through forms of propaganda, force by surrender [Imagine your local police officer, who is visible everywhere, becomes a figure to determine whether or not you fit in with their society...], force by unrealized ideas, and once he had control of Berlin, he moved onward towards the East. Behind the wall of tanks, machine guns, snipers, and bombs, was this fucking crazy ass police force that was so well organized (the SS) about who was who, they would sweep through areas picking people up, and take them to concentration camps. These were work camps, and if you couldn't work or weren't fit enough, there would be mass killings. This isn't easy to write about, talk about, and Breanne and I certainly don't like this lightly, but being in Berlin, you feel the immensity of what was, and what should, and can never happen again.
Once the Nazi's are gone, the Allied Powers and Russia split Berlin (West-Allies, East-Russia), and went away thinking Berlin will be a better place. Which it certainly was. But believing that Berlin could be split so easily is just wishful thinking. Soon there were blockades, checkpoints, and then a wall. John F. Kennedy would have been an amazing figure to grow up watching. He declared three things for the German people of West Berlin: The right of the allies to be present in Berlin, the right to free access to Berlin, and the right of the people of West Berlin to self-determination and free choice of their way of life. Now, we live in an arena where we know there's always two sides to a story, we never know who's actually behind anything, and there's usually a secret purpose to the reason for an action to benefit something else that is classified...But what JFK said, seems reasonable. It's amazing how the Cold War conflict ended up being setup right across from the Berlin Wall. The entire time the US was on the West, and Russia on the East (literally, Iron Curtain)...I reeeeally don't want to get in to, "Oh, have seen this before," but it's ridiculous how territory of a space has become a grunting match between the US and Russia. As long as it's off our sovereign soil...
Thanks to the first time Russia invaded Afghanistan back in the late 70's, groups from both East and West Berlin rallied against the war. This brought about significant pressure on the East. A new leader in Russia (Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 1990 after the wall fell) came into power and needed to boost the economy. Hanging on to Berlin was part of the cutbacks, amounted with growing pressure from Berlin's people, he was ready to release the city. Thanks to the Two Plus Four Treaty (minus Margaret Thatcher), Allied powers, Russia, and both Mayors signed away, and down came the wall! That was only around 25 years ago.
Like mentioned previously in a post, it would take more than 5 days to get a good feel for how Berlin was doing. But I'd say the people are feeling pretty good with moving on, and creating a first class city for the world to enjoy.