Published: Sun, November 10, 2019

Germany celebrates 30th anniversary of Berlin Wall's fall

Germany celebrates 30th anniversary of Berlin Wall's fall

Google on Saturday celebrated the 30th year of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a doodle that captured the essence of the breaking down of boundaries that separated many families.

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. Ms Merkel told political leaders and European guests such values "must always be lived out and defended anew" and warned they could never be taken for granted.

The toppling of the wall, which separated the Communist-ruled East from the capitalist West in Berlin for almost three decades and became a potent symbol of the Cold War, was followed a year later by the reunification of Germany in 1990. Under these hard circumstances, the citizens of East Germany took to heart the words of the influential German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm".

The message on the piece of wall reads in part "We would like to give you the piece of the failed Berlin Wall to commemorate the United States' dedication to building a world without walls" and is signed "Citizens of Berlin".

"Without the courage, without the will for freedom of the Poles, the Hungarians, the Czechs and the Slovaks, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe, and German unity, would not have been possible".

"The Berlin Wall, ladies and gentlemen, is history and 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", she said.

Built nearly overnight in 1961 as what the East German government described as an 'anti-fascist protection barrier, ' the wall quickly emerged as one of the most striking symbols of the so-called Iron Curtain between the West and the Soviet Union.

Mr Steinmeier said, however, that the historic event did not mark the "end of history" as USA historian Francis Fukuyama stated. The barbed wire and concrete structure had divided East from West Berlin. The battle of governmental systems had lasted along with the future was uncertain than previously, he added.

However, he added that "liberal democracy is being challenged and questioned", while foreign minister Heiko Maas said: "Power is shifting away from Europe, authoritarian models are on the rise, the United States is increasingly looking inwards". Representatives of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were part of the Soviet Union, said the collapse of the wall brought hope to their nations, as well. Its demolition sparked a series of events that led to the reunion of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic.

Saturday was also the anniversary of the Kristallnacht - the night of broken glass - when thousands of Jewish homes, synagogues and businesses were attacked in Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938.

Celebrations will culminate this day in the Brandenburg Gate on a massive stage show, in which the Staatskapelle, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, will start the festivities.

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