Tags: berlin | wall | fall | merkel

Merkel Cites Berlin Wall's Collapse as Inspiration for Ukraine

Sunday, 09 Nov 2014 08:22 AM

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the dismantling of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago should serve as a symbol of overcoming conflict as Germany celebrated the anniversary in the city where the Cold War ended.

Citing the Wall’s fall as the harbinger of Germany’s peaceful unification and an expanded 28-member European Union, Merkel said the events of Nov. 9, 1989 bear a message for Ukraine as well as Syria and Iraq, which have been partly overrun by Islamic State jihadists.

“The collapse showed us that dreams can come true, that nothing has to remain as it is,” Merkel said in a speech at the Berlin Wall Memorial. “It’s a message of encouragement to tear down other walls, walls of dictatorship, violence, ideologies and enmity.”

Berlin is marking the quarter-century milestone this weekend with a 15-kilometer (9.4-mile) line of thousands of illuminated white balloons that trace the path of the Wall through the once-divided German capital. Festivities will culminate with a concert at the Brandenburg Gate and the release of the helium-filled balloons at 7 p.m. Berlin time.

Merkel, a Lutheran pastor’s daughter who grew up under Communism in former East Germany, spoke after a service in Berlin today at the site of the Church of Reconciliation, which the regime razed a four years before the Wall came down. She lit a candle for victims at a preserved portion of the barrier, which East Germany built in 1961 to stop an exodus of citizens to the capitalist west, hundreds of whom were shot by border guards over the years while trying to flee.

Set off by an East German communist official’s offhand remark as pro-democracy protests swelled in the fall of 1989, the wall’s collapse brought down the regime and led to the reunification of East and West Germany 11 months later. The most prominent beneficiary was Merkel, a physicist whom then- Chancellor Helmut Kohl plucked from East Germany and gave a post in his first post-unity cabinet.


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Chancellor Angela Merkel said the dismantling of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago should serve as a symbol of overcoming conflict as Germany celebrated the anniversary in the city where the Cold War ended.Citing the Wall's fall as the harbinger of Germany's peaceful unification...
berlin, wall, fall, merkel
326
2014-22-09
Sunday, 09 Nov 2014 08:22 AM
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