9 November 2012, 08:56

Germany commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall

Germany commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall

Germany is celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

A large number of commemorative events will take place in Berlin with a church service to be held at the Berlin Wall Memorial in commemoration of those who were killed while trying to get over the wall.

The barrier that cut off West Berlin from East Germany and East Berlin was built in 1961 at the initiative of GDR’s leader Walter Ulbricht amid a mass departure of workforce and young specialists to West Germany.

The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall would protect its population from fascist elements. In practice, the Wall served to keep people from going to West Germany.

Between 1961 and 1989, an estimated 136 people were shot dead by border guards.

In 1987 Ronald Reagan delivered a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin and urged Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to “tear down this wall.”

On November 9, 1989, the East German government announced that all GDR citizens were free to go to West Germany and West Berlin.

The Wall itself was destroyed in 1990.

The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990.

Voice of Russia, TASS, Wikipedia.org

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