1989-on 9 november 1989, after intense east german protest, east germany finally opened the berlin wall. by the end of the year, official operations to dismantle the wall began. with the collapse of the communist governments of eastern europe and, eventually, the soviet union itself, the tearing down of the wall epitomized the collapse for history. after the end of world war ii in europe, what remained of pre-war germany west of the oder-neisse line was divided into four occupation zones (per the potsdam agreement), each one controlled by one of the four occupying allied powers: the united states, the united kingdom, france and the soviet union. the capital of berlin, as the seat of the allied control council, was similarly subdivided into four sectors despite the citys location deep inside the soviet zone. within two years, political divisions increased between the soviets and the other occupying powers. these included the soviets refusal to agree to reconstruction plans making post-war germany self-sufficient and to a detailed accounting of the industrial plants, goods and infrastructure already removed by the soviets. britain, france, the united states and the benelux countries later met to combine the non-soviet zones of the country into one zone for reconstruction and approve the extension of the marshall plan.