BERLIN (REUTERS) – Germany on Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that separated East and West Germany, with Chancellor Angela Merkel remembering the victims.
The toppling of the wall on November 9th, 1989, which had divided the Communist-ruled East and the capitalist West in Berlin for nearly three decades and became a potent symbol of the Cold War, was followed a year later by the reunification of Germany in 1990.
In her speech delivered in a chapel which is part of Berlin’s Bernauer Strasse street Wall memorial, Merkel remembered those killed or suffered repression “because they were looking for freedom.”
The chancellor, who grew up in Communist East Germany, also said 75,000 people were imprisoned “because they tried to flee their country.”
November 9 also marks the night in 1938 when the Nazis whipped up anti-Jewish riots in a pogrom known as the “Kristallnacht” or “the Night of Broken Glass,” a harbinger of the Holocaust.
Merkel called the date “a day of fate in German history” and said she remembered “the crimes committed against Jewish people in Germany.”