- A parade of Trabants and other East German Communist-era cars gathered to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- The wall fell 30 years ago on November 9, 1989, symbolizing the end of the Cold War.
- Trabants were built in East Germany during the Cold War.
The Berlin Wall came down 30 years ago, on November 9, 1989. To celebrate that anniversary, on Saturday hundreds of Germans rallied together with their classic Trabant and other East German cars at a former border crossing between Thuringia and Bavaria.
Trabants were built by East German car manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau and remain a potent symbol of the former East Germany. Joining the Trabants in the parade were Barka vans and Wartburgs—both East German car manufacturers. To see these cars running all together is appropriate and even touching as a way to commemorate such a pivotal moment in German history.
When the wall fell in 1989, it separated the Communist-ruled East from the capitalist West in Berlin. The destruction of the wall symbolized the end of the Cold War. The drivers who participated in the parade opened a gate at the former border crossing and drove through in honor of the freedom Germans gained 30 years ago.
Earlier this year, C/D columnist Ezra Dyer drove a 26-hp, 0.6-liter two-stroke-engine Trabant, saying it is “widely regarded as the worst car ever made.” The cars have collector value because of their history as part of Communist-bloc culture and are the subject of a U.S. parade every year run by the Washington, D.C., International Spy Museum.