Fall of Berlin Wall 'easy to forget, important to remember': Angela Merkel
The Silver Jubilee of German unification saw the city of Berlin burst with joy and resplendent festivities as a number of events and concerts were held to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Berlin: The Silver Jubilee of German unification saw the city of Berlin burst with joy and resplendent festivities as a number of events and concerts were held to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The night sky in the capital was awash with light, thanks to the spectacular beauty of the fireworks and thousands of white luminous balloons that were set free into the united Germany's ether to mark the end of a bitter 28-year-old division era.
Under a spectacular project named 'Lichtgrenze 2014' that means Border of Light, some 8000 helium balloons were installed along over a nine-mile stretch of path, where once stood the Berlin Wall - separating East Germany from the West.
Later, the balloons were released one by one – each bearing a message of peace and unity – symbolising the razing of the Berlin Wall over two decades ago on November 9, 1989.
The release of luminous balloons was accompanied by a brilliant display of fireworks that made the view at the Brandenburg Gate a visual delight.
A lit-up Berlin sky also reverberated with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony "Ode to Joy" as Daniel Barenboim led the Berlin State Orchestra in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
Speaking at one of the events held to mark the Silver Jubilee of German reunification, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the fall of the Berlin wall “showed us that dreams can come true”.
“It is a message of confidence in our ability to tear down walls today and in future, walls of dictatorship, violence, ideology and hostility", she said.
Talking about the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, Merkel called it the “happiest moment in our recent history.”
She added that what had happened in Berlin was “easy to forget” but “important to remember”.
“Nothing needs to remain the same no matter how high the hurdles may be. We can change things for the better," she said.
"This is the message for... Ukraine, Iraq and other places where human rights are threatened. The fall of the Wall showed us that dreams can come true. Nothing has to stay as it is," said Merkel, who has grown up in East Germany.
Delighted at the release of balloons, Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit said how the Germans “are the happiest people in the world and we're thrilled that you brought the Berlin Wall down 25 years ago", the BBC quoted him as saying.
“Nothing and no-one can stand in the way of freedom," he added.
A host of ceremonies and exhibitions were held on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the historic event. Also musical masterpieces like that of Bach and Beethoven were featured in concerts.
Even as Berlin was oozing with the fervour of festivities to mark the silver jubilee of German unification, one of the key leaders involved in the process struck a serious note, warning of an impending Cold War.
Speaking on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, the man credited with engineering a peaceful end to the Cold War exuded fears of a fresh Cold War waiting in the wings, referring to the Ukraine crisis and its adverse impact on US-Russia ties.
Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev also accused the West (especially the US) of succumbing to “triumphalism” after the collapse of the USSR over two decades ago and urged for restoration of trust via dialogue.
“Euphoria and triumphalism went to the heads of Western leaders...Taking advantage of Russia’s weakening and the lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination in the world,” he said.
“The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it's already begun," Gorbachev said at an event near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin which symbolises the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Gorbachev also mentioned the bloodshed going on in Europe and the Middle East and expressed concern about “a breakdown in dialogue between the major powers”.
The 83-year old was speaking on the eve of 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The wall separating East Germany and West was erected in 1961 to prohibit people from fleeing the repressive communist East. However after 28 years, on November 9, 1989, the wall was razed leading to German reunification.