Ten years ago this week, the wall that had divided East and West Berlin for 28 years was brought down (right). On 9 November 1989, a new East German government intent on displaying its sincerity about reform announced that citizens would be free to leave. By midnight, hordes of people had gathered on both sides of the Berlin Wall, that monument to repression, and they soon began to pour over it, triumphantly straddling the barrier (above right), dancing on the concrete and using whatever tools they could find to hack at the hated masonry. Within hours, tens of thousands of people had crossed to the West, an echo of the exodus that had marked the early years of the Cold War.

Between 1945 and 1961, an estimated 3 million East Germans had fled to the West, thwarting committed communists' desire to build a strong economy and create a country whose citizens would not want to leave. In June 1961, East German leader Walter Ulbricht announced: "Nobody has the intention of building a wall." However, within two months a barbed-wire fence had split Berlin. Panic spread, and another 1,500 people escaped within a day of the fence going up; many who tried to scale the barrier were forced back by troops wielding bayonets and machine guns. The East German authorities imposed a law that allowed anyone to be assigned to work on the land to replace those who had fled. The barrier was increasingly strengthened in the following weeks. This early version (above left, seen from the West) was still small enough for divided families to wave at each other across the concrete. By Christmas 1961, the wall was so tall, so fortified and so heavily patrolled that such communication was almost impossible.



Christians in St Maur, France

A young member of the Celestial Church of Christ carries a flower as a thanks offering. FBJ Oshoffa, who founded the church in Nigeria in 1947, had a vision that the followers should wear these distinctive white robes, which have a square collar when worn by prophets and prophetesses.



Water polo players training in Spandau, Berlin

The sport is believed to have originated in the lakes of mid-19th century England. Originally an aquatic alternative to rugby, it was played with a "pulu", an inflated rubber ball from India. By 1900, the game, now more like soccer, was so popular that it was the first team sport to be included on the Olympic programme.