Who brought down the Berlin Wall? It was Polish trade unionists, Mikhail Gorbachev and his perestroika, Ronald Reagan and his Star Wars program, ordinary East Germans demonstrating in the streets and piling into the West German embassy in Prague, and of course GÃ¼nter Schabowski, the Politburo member who read out that legendary note lifting travel restrictions — “effective immediately” — on the night of Nov. 9, 1989.
A new book published this week ventures to add another name to that list — rock star Bruce Springsteen, who held the biggest concert in the history of East Germany on July 19, 1988, and whose rousing, passionate performance that night lit a spark in the hundreds of thousands of young people who saw him.
Springsteen attracted an estimated 300,000 people from all over the German Democratic Republic — the largest crowd he had ever played to. They were hungry for change and freedom, and seeing one of the West’s top stars made them even hungrier, argues veteran journalist Erik Kirschbaum in his book “Rocking the Wall,”