After the Second World War, Europe was divided: the West, with the support of the United States, rebuilt itself on the basis of democracy and free markets; the East was suppressed by communism. At the center of this conflict was Germany, which, along with its capital, was divided for the next 28 years. When, on November 9, 1989, the physical manifestation of this division fell, fundamental transformation followed: the reunification of Germany, the eradication of communism in Europe, and eventually, the fall of the Soviet Union.

On Wednesday, November 6, the Atlantic Council, along with the George & Barbara Bush Foundation, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, and Georgetown University, commemorated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and discussed the lessons it offers, now and in the future.

Speakers included Tom Brokaw, who reported the fall live from Berlin (via satellite from the German capital); former White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater, who informed President Bush of the fall; and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who, along with National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, managed the aftermath.

The event was on the record and open to the press.