The wall is a testament to a hopeless failure.

berlin wall construction

August 1961: Workers raise the sector block on Bernauerstrasse in Berlin. Photo: Image Archive / dpa

(Photo: dpa)

Chancellor Angela Merkel The wall was a clear sign of an unjust state that is neither sovereign nor legitimate in the eyes of its citizens. Steinmeier said Friday at the central celebration in Berlin:

“August 13, 1961, was a fateful day for us Germans and the world – a day that destroyed dreams and hopes, separated children from parents and grandchildren from grandparents, and painfully and painfully interfered with the lives of countless individuals.” . “When we remember the construction of the wall today, we also remember the dead, the wounded, the detainees – everyone who risked their lives for freedom.”

The memorial of the dead from the fence

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) also drew attention to those who died at the wall. “We also think of those who, after a failed escape attempt, were imprisoned, abused and humiliated in prisons like Berlin Hohenschonhausen,” said government spokesman Stephen Seibert. He stressed that coexisting with the dictatorship in the German Democratic Republic and commemorating its victims “is our mission and our duty for the future.” The federal government will continue to use significant resources to achieve this.

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The Federal President also called on us not to stop looking back. Wall memory and division is a constant challenge. “Freedom and democracy are never granted by nature and are never achieved once and for all. Freedom and democracy must be fought for, but then also they must be protected, defended and preserved.” It begins by taking part in a democratic election, “elections which the Wall and what was in favor of, for a long time, denied by many. Remember everyone when the new German parliament will be elected soon.”

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The wall lasted 28 years

On August 13, 1961, the construction of the Berlin Wall began, which closed the division of Germany. The wall was about 155 kilometers long and enclosed the western part of Berlin. The wall stretched 45 kilometers across the city. Only after more than 28 years the division ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. In Berlin alone, according to scientific research, at least 140 people died as a result of the GDR border system after the wall was built. According to the federal government, at least 260 deaths were due to be mourned at the German internal borders.

“Nowhere else has the inhumane character of the dictatorship of strategic dialogue been shown like a wall,” said Berlin Governor Michael Müller (SPD) at the memorial hour. “Until the 1980s, the leadership of the German Democratic Republic perfected the inner borders of Berlin into a structure of almost insurmountable brutality.” However, many would have tried to conquer the wall, and many would have paid for it with their lives.

“The reunion is a great victory”

“The fact that the reunification of Berlin was so remarkably successful at the interface between East and West is a great victory over decades of division,” Mueller said. But this is also a huge victory for those East Germans who bravely demonstrated in the streets for their freedom in 1989 and brought down the Wall.

The SPD chancellor’s candidate, Olaf Schulz, also praised the achievements of the GDR citizens in overcoming the division of Germany. “It was caused by the citizens – they brought down the wall,” he said at a memorial service in Potsdam. FDP Secretary-General Volker Wessing said the anniversary of the construction of the wall “was a warning and a commitment at the same time to work tirelessly for freedom”.

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Green Chancellor’s candidate Annalena Barbock said in Berlin that the anniversary is “a constant reminder of the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights” and shows that walls cannot solve any problems even today.

Photo campaign to remember

CDU General Secretary Paul Zimyak told dpa: “The wall has been entrenched in contempt for man. It remains the most visible symbol of the injustice of the dictatorship of the Socialist United Party, for the SED old system, the sham elections, the lack of freedom, and persecution, and harassment. And also for the economic misery of a planned economy.” The memory of this injustice must be kept alive and remain an integral part of the culture of remembrance.

Since Friday, posters at more than 300 sites in Berlin commemorate the construction of the Berlin Wall. They showed well-known and lesser-known historical motifs, the Kulturprojekte GmbH said, with the importance of building the wall evident in all of its tragedy. It is about barbed wire, torn families, flight, protest, the military, and the victims of the GDR border regime.

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