World leaders mark 30th anniversary of the day Berlin Wall fell

Clay Curtis
November 9, 2019

"We were wrong", he said.

Leaders from Germany and other European nations are attending ceremonies on Saturday in Berlin recalling the peaceful protests that piled pressure on East Germany's government to allow its citizens free passage to the west on November 9, 1989. "And they must always be lived and defended again", he told guests from across the continent.

Leaders of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic attended the ceremony at Bernauer Strasse - where one of the last parts of the Berlin Wall remains - before placing roses in openings in the once-formidable barrier that divided the city for 28 years, USA Today reported.

"No wall that keeps people out and restricts freedom is so high. that it can not be broken down", she added.

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.

But later during lunch, the president also noticed the most serious atmosphere at this juncture compared to other celebrations that mark the key event on the German calendar five or ten years ago.

"Also in Europe, in their countries and also among European societies, there is a more intense and fierce struggle not only in the future of Europe but also in the interpretation of the past".

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With the West facing a slew of geopolitical challenges, he said the bulwark of the bloc's defence alliance, the 70-year-old North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, also "runs the risk that it will become obsolete" if leaders failed to tackle new challenges.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday NATO must grow and change or risk becoming obsolete, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said the alliance was dying.

Merkel responded with uncharacteristic sharpness, calling such "sweeping judgements" unnecessary.

US President Donald Trump hailed Germany as a "treasured" ally as commemorations were held marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Berlin Wall fell during the revolutions of 1989 in central and eastern Europe, in which several Soviet-imposed communist regimes were toppled following protests and political movements.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned of the dangers posed by Russian Federation and China, and called on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to grow and confront "the challenges of today".

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