A bureaucratic mistake

In 1989 democratic movements were making progress in Eastern Europe and the communist leader in East Germany had to resign. The pressure was so great that the current East German government had decided to allow some restricted passage through the Berlin Wall. The person who was assigned the job of announcing this decision was not given the exact orders and he was asked when this would occur. He did not know so he said it would be open completely and ‘immediately’. People started gathering at the wall and the guards, who were also not informed of what was happening laid down their weapons and opened the gates to all. The genie was out of the bottle and the wall came tumbling down in the next day.

(The Great Courses – Turning Points in American History)

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