300,000 Revelers Celebrate the Fall of the Berlin Wall—See the Pictures
Thousands of jubilant Berliners celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall yesterday, Der Spiegel reported.
The centerpiece of the celebration was the installation Lichtgrenze by artists Christopher and Marc Bauder, consisting of 8,000 glowing white balloons perched on 11-foot masts that retraced the 15km stretch of wall. Many Berliners participated in the installation by attaching notes detailing their personal experience of the division onto the masts (see: “Artists Reconstruct the Berlin Wall With Lights“).
As the glowing balloons were released one-by-one into the night sky and the orchestra played Beethoven’s 9th symphony, the gathered crowds erupted in cheers and applause.
In her speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was born and raised in East Germany, declared that “Dreams can become reality. Nothing must stay as it is.” She used the opportunity to condemn the “walls of dictatorship, of violence, of ideologies and of enmities” around the world.
German President Joachim Gauck, also born and raised in East Germany, paid tribute to the bravery of those who defied the regime to bring down the wall. “Before we danced in the street…we were enveloped in fear,” he remembered.
In contrast, the former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev found more stern words. In reference to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, he warned that “The world is on the cusp of a new Cold War. Some say it has already begun.”
However, Gorbachev’s words did little to dampen the spirits of the revelers, who continued to celebrate through the night.
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