Tags: berlin wall | 25th | anniversary | germany

Berlin Wall: 25th Anniversary Celebrates Reuniting of Germany

Image: Berlin Wall: 25th Anniversary Celebrates Reuniting of Germany
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev makes an impression with his hands in cement as he visits the former Berlin Wall border crossing point Checkpoint Charlie, in Berlin November 7, 2014. (Hannibal Hanhschke/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 07 Nov 2014 05:19 PM

Sunday's 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall will be a time of celebration and remembrance in Germany, and a German train drivers union even cut short its strike to make sure festivities will run smoothly.

The strike, which would have affected thousands of people traveling to Berlin for the anniversary celebration, will end Saturday evening, the BBC said, in what the union called a “gesture of conciliation.”

The annual celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall is important to Germans and throughout the world, and this week memories of what happened 25 years ago have flooded the media.

The National Post talked with Lt. Col. Harald Jager, the Communist guard who made the decision to open the gate he and other soldiers guarded, allowing East Germans to pour through.

Jager shared how he felt as 20,000 protesters crowded the wall, demanding to be allowed to travel to West Germany. Although relieved that his decision to open the gate, which was immediately copied by guards at other gates, stopped the potential for violence, Jager told the Post that he wept as the crowds went through.

“My world was collapsing and I felt like I was left alone by my party and my military commanders,” he said. “I was on the one hand hugely disappointed but also relieved that it ended peacefully. There could have been a different outcome.”

The event occurred after the East German regime decided to open the border, and it was accidentally announced that it would do so immediately, causing a rush to the wall.

Many East German citizens who crossed the wall that night in 1989 shared their feelings with a New York Times reporter on the scene.

''First of all, I must take a step on your soil,'' one person told him before he would be interviewed. A woman said, “'I can't describe it. I would never have believed it possible.''

And one person described his feelings simply, “Joy. Entirely great joy.”



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Sunday's 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall will be a time of celebration and remembrance in Germany, and a German train drivers union even cut short its strike to make sure festivities will run smoothly.
berlin wall, 25th, anniversary, germany
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2014-19-07
Friday, 07 Nov 2014 05:19 PM
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