Then, in 1989, the wall began to fall.
It almost looked as if war and borders were a thing of the past.
In Singapore in the mid 90's I remember the enthusiasm that greeted the great, uniting, "European Project".
Today things are different. Everywhere - from East Timor to Scotland - we see increasing demand for self determination.
But that's why it's so important to take the long view, as this great column from the Financial Times does.