German Chancellor Angela Merkel marks 30 years since fall of Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall How techno music united Germany on the dance floor			
				 
   by The Conversation 
  Published

Berlin Wall How techno music united Germany on the dance floor by The Conversation Published

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the United States to be a "mutually respectful partner" and reject nationalism, in a clear salvo aimed at U.S. leader Donald Trump as Germany yesterday marked 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"It was the beginning of the end of communist tyranny in Europe", they said.

Light installations, concerts and public debates are planned throughout the city and other parts of Germany to mark the fall of the Wall.

Built nearly overnight in 1961 as what the East German government described as an 'anti-fascist protection barrier, ' the wall quickly emerged as one of the most striking symbols of the so-called Iron Curtain between the West and the Soviet Union.

Pompeo meanwhile left behind a stark warning: "As we celebrate, we must also recognise that freedom is never guaranteed".

In a statement issued by his office, US President Donald Trump congratulated Germany on its anniversary, saying "courageous men and women from both East and West Germany united to tear down a wall that stood as a symbol of oppression and failed socialism for more than a quarter of a century". "Walls that stand in the way of our cohesion", he warned, as he called on Germans to "tear down these walls, at long last".

As a date, November 9 has also been a cause for less jubilation in Germany.

November 9 also marks the night in 1938 when the Nazis whipped up anti-Jewish riots in a pogrom known as the "Kristallnacht" or "the Night of Broken Glass,".

The chancellor and guests including the presidents of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had earlier been invited to stick roses through holes in a section of wall still standing at the Bernauer Strasse memorial, just north of central Berlin.

Since then, she has regularly spoken about how being an East German citizen robbed her of her freedom.

He criticised the human rights records of the Russian and Chinese governments, and said: "Today, authoritarianism is once again rising".

Differences are not only resurfacing between the former east or west blocs.

But in my new book, "Contested Ground: The Tunnel and the Struggle over Television News in Cold War America", I use declassified government documents to tell the story of how political pressure and naked journalistic competition almost derailed the NBC documentary before more than a handful of people had seen a single frame of the film.

In August 1989, Hungarian border guards for the first time allowed people from East Germany to cross freely into Austria, paving the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall three months later and with it the end of the Iron Curtain.

More recently, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has moved to capitalize on the dissatisfaction with post-communist life, decrying the changes unleashed by the 1989 breaching of the wall as a failure and calling for a new uprising in the east.

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