Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Germans Celebrate the Fall of Berlin Wall, Tweaking Trump

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Patty Aguilar | 10 November, 2019, 18:38

Germany marked the 30th anniversary Saturday of the opening of the Berlin Wall, a pivotal moment in the events that brought down Communism in eastern Europe.

"The Berlin Wall, ladies and gentlemen, is history", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said later at a memorial service inside a small chapel near where the Wall once stood.

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.

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.

"The values on which Europe is founded - freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, respect for human rights - are anything but self-evident", she said, adding that such values "must be defended again and again".

The Berlin Wall was erected on 13 August 1961. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Lindenberg was finally able to go on tour in the former communist country, and one of those first concerts took him to Leipzig.

Mr Steinmeier said, however, that the historic event did not mark the "end of history" as United States historian Francis Fukuyama stated.

"Without the courage and the will to freedom of the Poles and Hungarians, the Czechs and Slovaks, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe and Germany's reunification would not have been possible", he said.

A weeklong series of events in Berlin was capped off Saturday night with a concert at the famous Brandenburg Gate, involving several German and global performers.

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.

The new statue overlooks the spot where Reagan delivered the speech.

Following growing pressure across the Warsaw Pact countries in 1989, pro-democracy protests spread to East Germany.

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For four decades, East German propaganda touted the existence of a thriving workers' paradise on their side of the wall.

But Nov. 9 is not a gleaming day in German history, despite the fall of the wall.

After World War Two, Europe was split between what was then the Soviet Union, and its Western allies.

However, tensions between East and West have resurfaced. Arms control treaties have been ditched, and many world leaders have warned of a new Cold War.

This time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit ended Friday, while Macron is only planning a flying visit on Sunday.

"We thought we could divert our resources away from alliances, and our militaries".

Yet, it is also clear that the destruction in 1992 of the 16th century three-domed structure by Hindu kar sevaks, who want to build a Ram temple there, was a wrong that 'must be remedied, ' the ruling said. But as we mark the 30th anniversary that the Berlin Wall came down, we hear calls from some Americans to build a wall here.

Pompeo also criticized Russia's treatment of the political opposition.

'For 35 years, I experienced the official opinion as different from my own, ' Merkel said, referring to the former communist east.

Pompeo also warned that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation needed to evolve as the alliance approaches its 70th anniversary.

A statue of former President Ronald Reagan was dedicated at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin over the weekend.

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