World leaders past and present are in Berlin to celebrate the “happiest day in recent German history,” as they mark the 20th anniversary of the event that led to German reunification, the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Soviet Union.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was working as a scientific researcher in east Berlin at the time the wall fell, opened up a new Cold War museum in Potsdam in commemoration. The leaders of Britain, France and Russia are due in the city to share in the joy that saw the Berlin Wall, a stark symbol of the Cold War that divided a city and a continent, topple. Guido Westervelle is the current German foreign minister. He said: “The wall did not ‘fall’, but was actively brought down by the people’s love of freedom and the love for millions of citizens that had to live without freedom.” US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is there to represent President Obama she urged continued international cooperation: “We need to form an even stronger partnership to bring down the walls of the 21st century and to confront those who hide behind them.” Parties are planned all over Berlin as Germany remembers the destruction of what Communist GDR called the “anti-fascist protection barrier.”