Germany celebrates 30th anniversary of Berlin Wall's fall

10 Novembre, 2019, 17:29 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Germany celebrates 30th anniversary of Berlin Wall's fall

Speaking to European leaders at Bernauer Strasse, head of the Berlin Wall memorial site, Axel Klausmeier, recalled the images of delirious Berliners from East and West crying tears of joy as they hugged each other on the evening of November 9, 1989.

Recalling the United States' key role in helping to bring down the hated Wall separating communist East from capitalist West, Steinmeier said he still hears the late American president Ronald Reagan's cry of "tear down this wall" at the iconic Brandenburg Gate. At Bernauer Strasse, they joined Steinmeier in placing roses in the once-fearsome barrier that divided the city for 28 years.

"The fall of the Berlin wall deeply impacted not only me but all Germans and Europeans", Guther said, "I don't belong to the generation that witnessed the birth of this historic anniversary, but the reunion on this day will always continue".

"It teaches us: No wall that keeps people out and restricts freedom is so high or so wide that it can't be broken down."

"The values upon which Europe is founded. they are anything but self-evident".

Domestically, Germany is also struggling with a resurgent far-right, which has gained a strong foothold in its former communist states by championing a nationalist and anti-immigration message.

"In Germany, we are debating and yes, fighting, more than before, about German reunification and its consequences", he told his central European guests at lunch.

Differences are not only resurfacing between the former east or west blocs.

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German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the United States to be a "mutually respectful partner" and reject nationalism, in a clear salvo aimed at USA leader Donald Trump as Germany on Saturday marked 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

He also said that "the Cold War has long since passed, but tyrannical regimes around the world continue to employ the oppressive tactics of Soviet-style totalitarianism".

Merkel responded with uncharacteristic sharpness, calling such "sweeping judgements" unnecessary.

He said that the USA will continue to work with Germany, which he called one of its most treasured allies.

In a tweet on Saturday, Macron also urged Europeans to uphold the hopes for freedom that drove East Germans in 1989 to bring the Wall down.

The bad-tempered prelude to the festivities stood in sharp contrast to celebrations five years ago, when former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and ex-Polish president and freedom icon Lech Walesa were present.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was not at the ceremony, but visited Berlin earlier this week. "Let us also be fearless and worthy of their expectations".

During a speech on Friday, he warned that "freedom is never guaranteed".

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