"Let's break those walls" | TIME ONLINE


On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called upon to argue for democracy and to tear down newly created walls in society. In recent years, new walls have been created across the country: "walls of frustration, walls of anger and hatred, walls of speechlessness and alienation," said the President on Saturday at the fall of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

The Berlin Wall had established the GDR unrighteous regime with the head of the SED and State Council Chairman Walter Ulbricht at the top. "But we built the new walls in our own country, and only we can tear them down," Steinmeier said. "So we do not watch, we do not complain about it: Let's break down those walls!"

Everyone can do something for cohesion in the country, appealed the Federal President. He hopes that "we can bring some of the courage, confidence and self-confidence of those days of the fall of the Berlin Wall into our time today". If one remembers today the brave ones of 1989, then one could not watch how, what they fought, into oblivion, so Steinmeier. "We must not allow people to be marginalized and attacked, that democracy derides, that cohesion in this country is destroyed."

The brave ones of 1989 would have unity, freedom and democracy fought for. "What a great, what a proud heir, let's make something out of it," Steinmeier said.

Memory of the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe

In addition to the perestroika policy of Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union, the reform movements in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia had contributed to this. Therefore, Steinmeier also took over the heads of state of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary – Zuzana Čaputova, Miloš Zeman, Andrzej Duda and Janos Ader Berlin invited. "Without the courage and the will to freedom of the Poles and Hungarians, the Czechs and Slovaks, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe and German unity would not have been possible," he said.

He thanked the then Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachevwho initiated a policy of detente and former US President Ronald Reagan as representative of the "strong arm of the West". He would like to see this "America as a partner in mutual respect" and "against national egoism" in the future, said Steinmeier to US President Donald Trump.

Tens of thousands of people applauded for Steinmeier's speech at the Berlin Wall Party at the Brandenburg Gate.

Merkel calls for action against hatred, racism and anti-Semitism

Chancellor Angela Merkel had already spoken on Wednesday in the Chapel of Reconciliation at a wall memorial event of the Berlin Wall Foundation. The chapel is located on the former death strip on Bernauer Strabe. There Merkel called on the Germans to stand up for freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights: "The 9th of November, in which both the terrible and the happy moments of our history are reflected in a special way, admonishes us that we must resolutely confront hatred, racism and anti-Semitism. "

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GDR, autumn 1961: Forces are closing windows, vacating apartments, securing the border. How do you think about it today? Three men over duty and guilt

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