“The collapse of the wall led to democracy for some and lawlessness or new forms of dictatorship for others. In other words, it shattered the amber in which history had, in many ways, been frozen for 44 years and freed the forces lying beneath — the sects, tribes, ideologies, and allegiances — to flow forth once more with unrestrained vigor, for better, worse, and both.” Twenty-five years later, Slate’s Fred Kaplan reflects on how the fall of Berlin Wall led to the world we know today.

+ InFocus has an excellent photo collection showing the rise and fall of the wall.