Explore President Bush's reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and learn why diplomacy played a part. Berlin, the largest city in East Germany, was also separated into East and West sections. In 1961, East German officials erected a concrete barrier between the East and West portions of the city. After the wall fell in 1989, the world celebrated, but Bush and Baker were measured in their response. The opening of East Germany represented a blow to the Soviet empire. Bush and Baker did not want to damage their fragile relationship with the Soviet General Secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev, by gloating.