Last updated on November 9, 2019
Germany hosted European leaders in a commemoration on Saturday marking the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin wall, a historic turning point which Europe and the entire world.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier thanked Eastern European allies for empowering a peaceful revolution.
“With our friends, we recall with profound gratitude the events 30 decades back,” Steinmeier said during a ceremony in the Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall Memorial, which was attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel and heads of state in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
A sign of the Cold War and remainder of the West and the East, the Berlin Wall Wasn’t demolished immediately.
Its demolition began on 9 November 1989, together with individuals chipping off it with hammers, chisels and sledgehammers, producing unofficial boundary crossings and symbolically end years of economic strain.
Throughout the service, Steinmeier along with also the presidents of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic put roses in a small gap at the remains of this wall in the memorial.
In August 1989, Allied border guards for the first time allowed people from East Germany to cross freely into Austria, paving the way for the collapse of the Berlin Wall three weeks afterward and with it the conclusion of the Iron Curtain.
Steinmeier pointed out, nevertheless, the historical event didn’t indicate the”end of history” since US historian Francis Fukuyama said. The battle of governmental systems had lasted along with the future was uncertain than previously, he added.
“Liberal democracy has been challenged and questioned,” Steinmeier said. That is why Germany and its European allies had to struggle daily to get a peaceful and united Europe with every nation having to perform its part to overcome gaps, he added.
His message was echoed by Merkel at a brief speech through a commemorative service in the memorial’s chapel.
“The values on which Europe is based — liberty, equality, democracy, the rule of law, respect for individual rights –are anything but self-evident. And they must be full of life and have to be defended over and over,” she explained.
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.