Berlin Wall

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I am not the one trying to speed things up. We are being driven.
Helmut Kohl

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.


  • Walls in the mind often stand longer than those built of concrete.
    • Willy Brandt, Awake! magazine, December 22, 1991; in its article The Dream of European Unity.
  • 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.
    • Awake! magazine, December 22, 1991; in its article The Dream of European Unity.
  • 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.
  • Forget not the tyranny of this wall...nor the love of freedom that made it fall...

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