Rocking the Wall: the new hardcover edition with more color pictures from the concert, Stasi files, and a preface by Mike Spengler, a former hornist of the E Street Band, who was in Berlin.

Rocking the Wall


Bruce Springsteen: ​The Berlin Concert That Changed the World


By Erik Kirschbaum

Kirschbaum is convinced it was the most politically important rock concert ever held.

David Crossland, Der SPIEGEL, Germany
In telling the back story of how the concert came to be, “Rocking the Wall” offers a fascinating historical snapshot of East German Communist cultural officials scrambling to contain the brewing political restlessness all around them.

Vanessa Fuhrmans, The Wall Street Journal
Once in a while you play a place, you play a show that ends up staying inside of you, living with you for the rest of your life," he said. "East Berlin in 1988 was certainly one of them.

Kate Connolly, The Guardian
...a glorious example of the influence that rock ‘n’ roll can have on people who are hungry and ready for change.

—Michelle Martin for The Washington Post

Erik Kirschbaum

​Get the enhanced ebook "Rocking the Wall," with actual Springsteen-songs! Or, get a postcard with a piece of the real Wall.


a native of New York City and long-time Springsteen fan, has lived in Germany for more than twenty-five years and in Berlin since 1993. He is a correspondent for the Reuters international news agency. He is also a devoted father of four, an enthusiastic cyclist, and a solar power entrepreneur. Rocking the Wall is his third book.

It was cultural forces that won the Cold War for the West, and which may yet spring more oppressive regimes from the tyranny of the old and joyless. Young East Germans wanted their rock and roll.

—Tris McCall, The Star Ledger, New Jersey
Inside this book is as clear a statement of the power of this music as anyone, ever, has come up with.

—Dave Marsh, Rolling Stone music critic 

Rocking The Wall explores the epic Bruce Springsteen concert in East Berlin on July 19, 1988, and how it changed the world. Erik Kirschbaum spoke to scores of fans and concert organizers on both sides of the Berlin Wall, including Jon Landau, Springsteen's long-time friend and manager. With lively behind-the-scenes details from eyewitness accounts, magazine and newspaper clippings, TV recordings, and even Stasi files, as well as photos and memorabilia, this gripping book transports you back to those heady times before the Berlin Wall fell and gives you a front-row spot at one of the most exciting rock concerts ever. It takes you to an unforgettable journey with Springsteen through the divided city, to the open air concert grounds in Weissensee, where The Boss, live on stage, delivered a speech against the Wall to a record-breaking crowd of more than 300,000 delirious young East Germans full of joy and hope.