tv DW News Deutsche Welle November 9, 2019 1:00pm-1:16pm CET
this is d.w. news live from berlin marking a milestone in history 30 years on germany come emirates the fall of the berlin wall a special ceremony is held at one of the few sites where parts of the wall are still intact chants of grant all honors the memory of those killed trying to flee communism and has a special message about freedom today. i'm
married to evanston it's good to have you with us germany is marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall with a series of commemorations here in the capital earlier on saturday german chancellor angela merkel attended a ceremony where the wall once stood between east and west berlin and she urged europe to defend its values and fight for democracy. german president from walter steinmeier and the u.s. ambassador to germany were also in attendance as it were for eastern european leaders whose countries were played a role in ending the cold war. well d.w. has been covering today's commemoration events here in the german capital with our correspondent thomas sparrow at the berlin wall memorial and here in the studio i'm joined by john barrack it's great to see both of you now thomas i'd like to start with you tell us
a bit about the events of this morning at the commemoration at barito as tosser. arianna we're standing now at the bernauer. memorial this is one of the most important in wall memorials right here in the center of the german capital it was not far away from here where the wall actually stood on the wall that by the way stood right in front of many buildings that dividing families dividing friends on a such today is a very powerful symbol not only of division but also of that division that was later overcome when the burden wall fell 3 decades ago and we're standing now actually you know places where people after the official ceremony they could actually come here leave a rose as you can actually see there's music behind me and people are attending that sort of improvised concert so this on the one hand was obviously a very political event with chancellor angela merkel with german president fun part of my with the leaders of poland hungary czech republic on. but now after those
events finished it is also a commemoration for berlin as for locals for tourists to come here and express their feelings about what the burning wall meant and what the fall of the berlin wall so meant 3 decades ago. now john m. as thomas just mentioned among the guests present at the commemoration of bens this morning where the leaders of the 4 eastern european countries lavaca poland czech republic and hungary they somehow contributed to what happened with the wall how the wall came down but i think it's quite interesting to note who was not present at this moment this morning commemorations we did not see any of the leaders of the former cold war powers at this come aeration event not from the united states or france or great britain or russia former soviet union what does this tell us. but in that one should read too much political significance into that absence. there is a tendency in the official narrative i was saying this morning the official
narrative of the war coming down to conflates that that event with the unification of germany and historically that's not corrected to be the unification of germany took place a year later and it was no by no means self-evident it was going to occur when the wall came down on the had lied powers russia britain france. and the americans paid a decisive role in reunification because it could not take place without their agreement in terms of the defeat of germany and they were the victor parts but the fall of the war was something that the. states the for the to mention the neighbors of germany played a much more important and decisive role because they were democracy movements in those countries which in fact created a kind of atmosphere and context for the for the peaceful revolution in east germany so they were being represented today at the same time i think it is safe to
say that we're seeing a strain in ties between germany bits and the united states in general among western nations in relation to also the relationship with russia i mean this is a very tense moment for the western alliance for liberal democracy in general and indeed the german chancellor angela merkel in her speech stress that we should not take for granted the freedom that was gained with the fall of the berlin wall we have now the chancellor speech let's have a listen. what the fuck i think because 30 years ago on this date the berlin wall opened and then fell for the us called just before that no one would have believed it even possible 6 at the start of 1909 when the clinton admin it was just small minority fighting for civil rights and
democracy suffering discrimination persecution and incarceration as a result but there's minority. managed to encourage thousands and hundreds of thousands in autumn of 1909 who took to the streets to protest others went via hungary praga warsaw and turned their backs on the east germany all of them contributions bringing down the berlin wall opening the way to democracy and our country and all of them really should have roots i do would you go for gratitude peaceful revolution that was inspired by so darn which led to democratic successes in the czech republic the charter 77 encourage this in early baltic states the longest human chain in history pushed for independence and in hungary the iron curtain was made permeable the call for freedom created new democracies in north.
eastern europe and central europe germany and europe could finally grow back together but the values on which europe is built freedom like democracy equality and the rule of law preservation of human rights they are anything but something we can take for granted again and again we must live them we must defend them up and in the future to europe it's nice to fight for human rights and tolerance for freedom and democracy and this and times of sweeping technological and global changes this is more pressing a matter before the car. the individual may sometimes seem small but we must become discouraged because of this instead we must remember however spirits who said that freedom is like the sea i didn't he said the individual waves may not seem to do much but the power of the tide is. impossible to resist.
madame until the berlin wall is now relegated to the arson history. and now we want to ensure that no wall i think he's on separate people again it proves to us that no wall is so high and so strong that we cannot break it democracy spoke in a column about the wall he said when we created the wall we couldn't imagine how high it was inside us we got used to it horizon we got used to its wind shadow and its wind château we cast no shadow use now we stand naked for any excuse and this is true for all of us in the east and in the west we are naked of any excuse and it is down to us to do what we can for freedom
and democracy thank you. so that was the german chancellor angela merkel speaking at the commemoration a vent for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall saying the wall maybe history may be relegated to the annals of history and yet also in the future she's saying europe must fight for human rights for democracy john what did you make of the chancers speech what what was her message what was the main focus of her message but i read many different. emphases what the one most important one i think is was on the emphasis on common values the values of the rule of law that she mentioned. individual freedom democracy and so on and it's very significant that the eastern european states represented at today's ceremony. 2 of them at least poland and hungary have both rightwing governments that have made very
serious challenges to the rule. no and to the independence of the judiciary. are very it's very worrying this has been a crisis of values within the european union and that is one of the main challenges facing europe at the moment i think that's one of the things she was referring to and indeed also within germany we're seeing how the far right has gained strong foothold in many of the former east german states but john now what we'd like to do is actually take a look back 30 years ago to that magical night in the moments when the berlin wall was opened let's have a look. the world must go what had seemed unimaginable became true on november 9th 1989. after 28 years a chink in the wall and suddenly immeasurable freedom. when
i'm with my mother and my father over there can i go over there and see my parents yes. good luck good luck. that does evil and no one dreams this could be possible in their lifetime. sushi it is too good to be true new york millions have waited for this moment. so you've never been to the west no never what sort of feeling is that brilliant indescribable the atmosphere in the joy you can't believe it my it's crazy. laws an . 11 30 pm at berlin's bornholmer strasse a transit point the borders 1st began to open here freedom had finally won. now it's off to west berlin. destination the glittering came down from a not. just
and we just walked right through without being stopped it was fantastic i thought we were i mean i just went over with my id i asked if it was free yes they asked what are you going to pay with. and what did you do here in western and no f. no left no i just went over stood there had my feet on the ground that's violent that's not just to see if it's not student because now i can go back and forth at any time it's fantastic leaders were surprised and overwhelmed former an incumbent man a prime demba gate. they spoke of the happiest people on earth of a united europe a vision and ideas. leave the peace somewhere for the museum. but the people must be able to meet each other again freely not just for
a few days but always. one year later east and west germany or united but bitter memories of decades of separation and a system of oppression remained. and so with may covering the commemoration of vents in the german capital is john barry here in the studio with me and standing by at the berlin wall the morial is thomas farrow and now thomas coming back to what we just saw not about the euphoria that we saw in the wall came down when people were able to cross back and forth freely across the former border how much does that experience of east and west that the vision still weigh on germans nowadays 30 years on. germany has indeed advanced a lot in these last 3 decades i think there's no doubt about that and the divisions at least many of the divisions have also diminished or at least reduced to
something by the way that also officials have said on various occasions at the same time however it is important to stress that there are still divisions real divisions if you will between east and west when it comes for example to 2 salaries one counter-example to pensions the fact that in the east people turn to earn less money in the west and i think there are also sieved divisions perceived differences many in the east many in the eastern part of the country still feel for example that they are as 2nd class citizens that they are not represented politically in an equal way as for example the west that they have been you know way left behind so although germany has indeed advanced a lot there are still many differences between east and west. and now john if i may say you seem as though you are someone who would remember the fall of the berlin wall 30 years ago i know you were living in west berlin at the time give us a short summary of what you experienced on that night when i have to confess that i
went to bed early because i was planning to get up at 5 o'clock the next morning so i didn't actually hear the fateful announcement that the border was open until my telephone jangled and i went on to the telephone and a friend said to come will go to the war and i went to the wall and stood on it and the rest is history thank you so much john derrick thomas sparrow of the berlin wall morial and thank you for watching. years after the fall of the berlin wall. w. dear antone. when your mother was born in 1969 the world was already 8 years old you know my grandchildren were born after the war born in a real unified germany 3 generations one family on a journey.