Topless tobogganers receive an icy reception

Nude bathing on public beaches and Alpine hiking in the buff may rate as everyday Teutonic pastimes, but the outraged burghers of eastern Germany's highest ski resort draw the line at the nation's latest winter sport: topless tobogganing.

Ballack: 'People have weaknesses. We should just accept it'

Tomorrow Michael Ballack will be back doing what he knows best. There in the heart of Chelsea's midfield at the Emirates will be the imposing figure of Germany's captain, bringing his they-shall-not-pass presence to a side not lacking in strong characters. It is where Ballack wants to be, and right now it is where he has never been more grateful to be.

In their own words: East Berliners on the Wall

The Stasi man, the spin doctor, the dissident and teenager tell of the day when the Wall came down

Dictator's wife defiant over forced adoptions

Margot Honecker, a Communist-era minister now living in exile in Chile, left a cruel legacy of separated families

John Reid: The enduring implications of the fall of the Berlin Wall

The fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9, 1989, was one of history’s truly epochal moments. During what became a revolutionary wave sweeping across the former Eastern Bloc countries, the announcement by the then-East German Government that its citizens could visit West Germany set in train a series of events that led, ultimately, to the demise of the Soviet Union itself.

The Weekend's Television: The Children Who Fought Hitler, BBC4, <br />The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall, BBC2

Some small-print disclaimers first, relating to product description. The Children Who Fought Hitler, to start with, a title that conjures up images of human waves of boy-soldiers, running through the rubble-filled streets of Berlin to see who can get to the bunker first and take out Adolf with a Sten gun.

A bridge opened &ndash; and then the Wall fell

1989: Europe's Revolution: On the 20th anniversary of Berlin's reunification, Tony Paterson remembers the place where the city's dividing lines began to dissolve

The Fall of the Wall: 20 Years On

We know what happened in the years following the momentous events of 9 November 1989: the birth of a new Europe. But that week, fear mingled with hope &ndash; and The Independent's correspondents and photographers were there to capture the moment. In a special report, we present the first draft of history

When East met West: How Germany became one

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany's landscape has changed dramatically. Foreign correspondent Rupert Cornwell returns to his old stamping ground

Hero or Villain? Egon Krenz

Communist who got to the top just as the Party was over

The fall of the wall: For some, there's little to celebrate

Reunification has led to fewer jobs and fewer people in the east, and some are nostalgic for a more certain past

The Berlin Wall: Where are they now?

The Berlin Wall

An Ossi success amid the disenchantment

Two decades after the fall of Communism, and 19 years after reunification, Victor Sebestyen reports on one of Europe's biggest economic triumphs

Adam Roberts: The peaceful revolution of 1989

Apart from civil resistance, one crucial factor was the huge role of Gorbachev

East Germans watch transfixed as their country falls apart

Countdown to the fall of the wall: By late October 1989, the East German regime was imploding. Demonstrations and an exodus across the Czech border forced hardliners from office, state censorship to be cast aside, and an air of panic to grip the leadership...
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project