Fall of the Berlin Wall: Angela Merkel hails historic moment 25 years ago as proof to the world that ‘dreams can come true’

German Chancellor speaks at memorial site in Berlin to mark anniversary

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The Independent Online

Angela Merkel has described the fall of the Berlin Wall as a “dream come true”, and said that 25 years later it remained an example for all in places where people’s rights and freedoms remain under threat.

The German Chancellor spoke at an event to mark the anniversary of the night when the gates between East and West Berlin were opened and thousands of people crossed the border, a symbolic end to the Cold War.

Addressing a crowd at the main memorial site for the Wall on Bernauer Strasse, Ms Merkel said: “The fall of the Wall has shown us that dreams can come true.”

“Nothing has to stay the way it is, however big the hurdles are,” she added.

The fall of the Wall was the climax of weeks of popular protests spurred by changes that had already taken place elsewhere in eastern Europe.

Ms Merkel noted the important examples set by the democracy movements in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and praised East Germans who were inspired by them to stand up to the dictatorship.

She also honoured the many who suffered under the communist regime, including the 138 people who died at the Wall.

Ms Merkel noted that 9 November is also a significant date in Germany history for being the day when, in 1938, Nazi paramilitaries launched a pogrom against the country's Jewish population in what became known as Reichskristallnacht – the “Night of Broken Glass”.

“That was the opening note for the murder of millions,” said Ms Merkel, adding that on November 9 each year “I feel not just joy, but the responsibility that German history burdens us with”.

Additional reporting by PA

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