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On Berlin Wall Anniversary, Trump Calls Germany "Treasured" Ally

10 November 2019

They placed roses between gaps in the barrier that divided the city for 28 years.

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

It may be hard to imagine, a generation later, what a momentous event that was and why the sight of ordinary citizens, chipping away by hand and hammer at that edifice of cruelty, lifted so many hopes around the world.

Meanwhile across the German capital at the west Berlin ground of German first division side Hertha, a replica of the Berlin Wall was erected on midfield Saturday, only to be knocked down just before the match kicked off between the home side and east German club Leipzig.

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"Walls that are invisible but which divide". That's why it does not bother me when others see things differently.' However, the breaching of the wall has over the years also triggered a wave of departures from the former east, with the region's economy struggling to catch up with the west and many of those who remained in the communist east claiming they feel left behind. Seizing on democracy's difficulties and imperfections, those who favor one-person or one-party control, those who give sanction to corruption, and those who disdain the rule of law seek to exploit our openness and freedoms in order to promote their twisted tenets of ethno-nationalism, political conformity, and oligarchy. Scores of people died between 1961 and 1989, trying to get over that wall.

Jens Schmidt, who fled East Germany before the fall of the Wall by driving his Trabi to Hungary and then across the open border to the West, said the club has many young members for whom learning to fix the simple but sturdy vehicles can be a lesson in history and civics, too."The team spirit", he said.

"'Freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not flawless, ' President Kennedy told the people of a besieged West Berlin in 1963". "We want to ensure that no wall will separate people ever again".

"In 2019, the image of the Berlin Wall's opening remains as powerful a statement of democracy's triumph as President Kennedy's enduring argument for democracy's supremacy". Then he famously called on the Soviet leader: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Within hours, Berlin residents were taking pickaxes to the concrete wall, as the city erupted in wild celebrations. But it was taken down by unarmed citizens, who danced and sang along that wall as newly free people.

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On November 4, 1989, a half-million demonstrators gathered in Alexanderplatz in East Berlin. Today, November 9, marks the 30th anniversary of when it began to come down.

"The Berlin Wall, ladies and gentleman, is history", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

"The 9th of November, which reflects in a special way both the frightful and the happy moments of our history, makes us aware that we have to face hatred, racism and anti-Semitism resolutely", Merkel said in a speech at the Chapel of Reconciliation, located where the Berlin Wall once stood. His comments followed sharp criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron, who warned this week in an interview with The Economist that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was becoming "brain-dead" in the absence of US leadership.

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On Berlin Wall Anniversary, Trump Calls Germany