EFE / via 14ymedio – Berlin, 9 November 2016 – Today the German Capital celebrated 27 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, under the shadow of the rise of populism in many parts of Europe and the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections in the United States.
The two issues were present during the key ceremony at the monument to the victims of that division, attended by the mayor-governor of Berlin, Michael Müller, and with the participation of students from Norwegian, French and German high schools.
The fall of the Berlin Wall, on 9 November 1989, was remembered as the beginning of open borders in Europe, just at a time when in many European countries new fences are being built.
“Open borders were the result of the awareness that we must never again make war but we have learned nothing, in Europe they are again building walls, the populists have created a crisis and last night’s election results in the United States make me fear for world peace,” said Hildigund Neubert, president of the citizens’ initiative which is charged with keeping alive the memory of those who died along that line of separation.
“Populism is increasing everywhere and there are people who are thus encouraged to resort to violence,” he added.
However, he then recalled that the fall of the Berlin Wall had shown that peaceful resistance is possible.
“The fall of the wall was not a violent act, the wall was a work of violence. To remember that, people are invited to put flowers on what remains of it,” he said.
The flowers were placed in the cracks of one of the sections of the wall that still stands on Bernauerstrasse, around which the memorial center has been created.
After that first part of the event, attendees went to the Chapel of Reconciliation, which is also part of the memorial, where candles were lit in memory of those who died at the wall.
The first candle was lit by Mayor Michael Müller. Students of the invited schools participated in an separate event where they spoke with eyewitnesses of the division of the city and with the Syrian refugee Jihad Tello.