The Brandenburg Gate, once the fault line between East and West, and now the symbol of German reunification, was the impressive setting for a symbolic walk for some of today’s leaders.Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was joined by Russia’s Dimitry Medvedev, France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and the UK’s Gordon Brown, among others. Chancellor Merkel said the events of 20 years ago had shown the world could tackle new challenges.
“The gate towards freedom opened and a frontier which before seemed to be impenetrable, which had divided people and a continent, became penetrable. For me, it was one of the happiest moments of my life,” she said.The fall of the Berlin Wall led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today’s Russian President Dimitry Medvedev reflected on its significance in the context of the current political climate: “The passage to a new multi-polar world is today very important and Germany’s reunification is very important for all of us because the world continues to face serious threats – both economic and regional.” The US President Barack Obama could not attend the celebrations but gave a surprise address by video-link and described the fall of the wall as the most clear “rebuke of tyranny” – adding, “there could be no stronger affirmation of freedom.”