from TIME Magazine

David Hasselhoff Looks Back on His Surprising Role in the Fall of the Berlin Wall


Saturday marks the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, when, on Nov. 9, 1989, Berliners breached the 12-ft.-high wall that had divided the communist East side of the city and the capitalist West side of the city since 1961.

It was not only the beginning of a new chapter for Germany and the World, but also a new chapter in David Hasselhoff’s career. The actor and singer had made a name for himself in the U.S., especially as the star of the TV show Knight Riderbut he became even more of a celebrity in Germany after his song “Looking For Freedom” (an English adaptation of the 1978 German hit “Auf Der Strasse Nach Süden,” often translated as “On the road to the South”) came out in 1988, followed by the album of the same name in June 1989. It topped the charts in West Germany, in large part because its lyrics about the long search for freedom struck a chord among those living in a divided Germany. The coincidental timing of the song’s release and the wall’s destruction made Hasselhoff a surprising symbol of the end of the Cold War, a position cemented by his performance at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on New Year’s Eve 1989.

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