Thank you Gorby for tearing down this wall (or at least not shooting those who did)
- J Brooks Spector
- 10 Nov 2009 (South Africa)
Angela Merkel and Mikhail Gorbachev this week crossed the site of the infamous Berlin Wall as Germans chanted "Gorby! Gorby!" in recognition of the night the wall came down – and the music (courtesy of Bon Jovi and Beethoven) played on.
The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton joined Merkel and Gorbachev at the Brandenburg Gate, a key crossing point and “ground zero” of the former division of Berlin. The Berlin Wall ceased dividing Berlin on 9 November 1989 when Berliners streamed across the dividing line as East German guards stopped barring their crossing. The effective end of the division of Berlin became a crucial moment in the collapse of communism and Soviet domination of Central and Eastern Europe. During the commemorations, Merkel lauded Gorbachev’s role, saying, “You made this possible - you courageously let things happen.” There were also memorials for the 136 people killed trying to cross the border and 1,000 giant dominoes fell in symbolic recognition of the collapse of the wall.
Read The Daily Maverick story: The Day The Wall came tumbling down
For more on the initial reluctance of many nations to contemplate, let alone support, a newly unified Germany, read more at the New York Times
WATCH: Bush and Gorbachev: The Berlin Wall interviews - 06 Nov 09
Photo: Giant domino pieces installed along a stretch of the Berlin Wall's original path are seen at Brandenburg Gate during celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall in Berlin November 9, 2009. Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay
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