A new American embassy has been opened in Berlin, back on the site it last occupied in 1941. The ribbon was cut by the ambassador and his wife, and the former US President George Bush senior, who was in power when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
Looking on, Germany’s first chancellor to have grown up in communist East Germany, Angela Merkel.
George Bush senior said: “A new American embassy in the capital of a unified Germany, sitting in the heart of a Europe that is indeed whole and free and at peace, is in fact a great and noble dream realised,” Bush said.
The old embassy was bombed during the last war, and the ruin bulldozed by the East German authorities to make way for the Berlin Wall. The new building next to the landmark Brandenburg Gate, with its bullet-proof windows and security buffer-zone, has been less-than-universally acclaimed for its look.
Before the skies lit up with Independence Day firework celebrations, George Bush said Germany’s unification was the single most important development during his time as President.