Berlin Wall

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I am not the one trying to speed things up. We are being driven. ~ Helmut Kohl
At 0.30 o'clock, tanks roll over the street Unter den Linden. Shortly after 1 o'clock the lights go out at the Brandenburg Gate. Armed GDR border police and members of the combat groups are positioning themselves at the demarcation border. Ghostly scenes take place: pavement is torn open in the spotlight of the military vehicles. Piles are rammed into the ground, barbed wire rolled out, tank barriers erected. ~ Banjo/mb
Every stone bears witness to the moral bankruptcy of the society it encloses. ~ Margaret Thatcher
Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall. ~ Ronald Reagan

The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

Quotes[edit]

  • At midnight on August 13, all troops involved in the construction of the Wall are alerted. The action begins, it is supported in the hinterland by the Soviet armed forces stationed in the GDR. At 0.30 o'clock, tanks roll over the street Unter den Linden. Shortly after 1 o'clock the lights go out at the Brandenburg Gate. Armed GDR border police and members of the combat groups are positioning themselves at the demarcation border. Ghostly scenes take place: pavement is torn open in the spotlight of the military vehicles. Piles are rammed into the ground, barbed wire rolled out, tank barriers erected.
    The "Melodies for the Night" are running on Berliner Rundfunk. At 1:11, they are interrupted. The news anchor reads out a special message: "The Governments of the Warsaw Pact States are addressing the People's Chamber and the government of the GDR with the proposal to introduce such an order on the West Berlin border, which reliably shunts the activity of rioting against the countries of the socialist camp and around the whole area of West Berlin a reliable watch is ensured. " This informs the citizens of the GDR about what has already been going on for 71 minutes: the building of the Wall.
  • Walls in the mind often stand longer than those built of concrete.
  • On the very same day the first brick of the Ram Shila foundation was being laid at Ayodhya, the Berliners were removing bricks from the Berlin Wall. While a temple was going up in Ayodhya, a communist temple was being demolished five thousand miles away in Europe. If this is not history, I do not know what is. (...) The post-Nehru era began at Ayodhya on November 9, and it will gather momentum in the years to come, just as the post-communist era in Europe and elsewhere.
    • Jay Dubashi (commenting on these two important events on the same day on November 9, 1989), From Shilanyas to Berlin Wall in The Road to Ayodhya (also [1]), quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2014). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p.302-3
  • Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.
  • General Secretary Gorbachev’s policy of restructuring brings with it, for the first time since the end of World War II, a justifiable hope of overcoming the East-West conflict.
    • Helmut Kohl, Awake! magazine, September 22, 1990; in its article; Berlin—A Mirror of Our World?
  • I am not the one trying to speed things up. We are being driven.
    • Helmut Kohl
    • On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. The idea of German reunification, often discussed but considered unrealistic, once again became a subject of heated debate. Reunification now appeared inevitable, but scarcely anyone ventured to prophesy how soon it would come. German chancellor Helmut Kohl remarked those mentioned words when was accused of pushing unification plans too fast.
    • "The Dream of European Unity", Awake! magazine, (December 22, 1991).
  • We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!
    • Ronald Reagan
    • On June 12, 1987, just over two years before the astonishing events of 1989, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, speaking within sight of the Brandenburg Gate and with the Berlin Wall at his back, demanded those mentioned words.
    • Jehovah's Witnesses 1999 yearbook; Germany.
  • The Wall certainly ought not to be a permanent feature of the European landscape. I see no reason why the Soviet Union should think it is—it is to their advantage in any way to leave there that monument to communist failure.
  • Forget not the tyranny of this wall...nor the love of freedom that made it fall...

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