Election `97: `Pinch me - I can't believe they've gone'

Polly Toynbee and Yvette Cooper, commentator and new MP, relive the emotion of a night to remember

Continental Europe: the tough new frontier

A new report points up the opportunities - and dangers - of accountancy abroad. By Roger Trapp

freedom; Celebrating release from years of Communism and injustice

Berlin Wall (below), 9 November 1989. Seven hours after the first breach in the Wall at Ebererswalder Strasse. Photograph by Brian Harris: 'I had been up all night photographing the excitement at the Brandenburg Gate, then had gone back through Checkpoint Charlie to follow the East Germans through the wall. Confusion reigned. I climbed the back stairs of an apartment block, thinking that, only months ago, this would have been an ideal vantage point to plan an escape to the West'

The night Europe became whole again

Independent Decade

Dark deeds, diabolical liberties

FILM

Washington accused of building a Berlin Wall

Border skirmishes: 'Independent' writers report from both sides of the frontier on the immigration battle

Bruschetta with Holly and Polly

ENGLISH SETTLEMENT by D J Taylor, Chatto & Windus pounds 15.99

Top generals facing the music at last

Berlin Wall deaths: Former East German military men in the dock over shoot-to-kill policy

Out of Germany:Goodbye to Berlin and all that angst

It was that tap on the forehead that finally convinced me. It had been one of those miserable grey days that follow on in never-ending succession during the interminable Berlin winter.

Error that opened the Berlin Wall early

(First Edition)

BOOKS / Postcard from Berlin: Scanning the border lines: Poetry was the secret weapon of the East German guards on the Berlin Wall. Frederick Baker investigates

The border guards who used to man the Berlin Wall, staring from their watchtowers with binoculars for eyes, did not often make one think of poetry. The sight of the wall and its associated deathstrip seemed more likely to send the muse plumetting. The East German government, however, used everything: art, photography and even poetry to provide their border guards with psychological support at the hottest part of the Iron Curtain.

Speaking in tongues: Robert Hanks finds David Edgar revising his opinions on audiences (they're dumb) and culture (it's OK by him)

Perhaps it is the glass of wine that David Edgar has awarded himself for lunch, in celebration of the fact that rehearsals for his latest play are nearly over and all he has to do this afternoon is offer a bit of moral support to the RSC's actors; but he is disarmingly frank about the people he's writing for.

FILM / Rewind: A tender wolf: The actor Gottfried John remembers Rainer Werner Fassbinder

I FIRST met Fassbinder when he was looking for an actor to play the lead in Eight Hours Are Not a Day (1972). My first impression was of a child - a big, fat, naughty child. He always seemed very young. He was very direct, which these days is rare and could be hurtful. He always said exactly what was on his mind. He didn't make any concessions, which was hard for people around him, because most of us can't live like that.

Letter: D-Day: a benchmark of barbarity and intransigence

Sir: Together with other relatively simplistic reminiscences accompanying the current D-Day commemorations, the often poignant 'worm's eye view' stories of old soldiers must never be allowed to obscure the wider, more sombre background of this dramatic military undertaking.

Letter: Behind a wall of contempt

Sir: I enjoyed reading your marvellous account of the former two Germanies' roles during the post- war years up to the unique events in the autumn of 1989, as part of the summary of the eventful life of Erich Honecker (obituary, 30 May). However, I think it is unfortunate to describe the victims of a country's division that was absolutely contemptuous of human life in the following terms:
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