The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is being celebrated throughout the world. Many German missions abroad are marking this anniversary – for example with replicas of the Wall, original Wall segments and discussions. In Berlin, the Federal Foreign Office is showing an exhibition of photos by the artist Hartmut Jahn entitled “The New Owners of the Berlin Wall”.
To mark the opening of the exhibition, Minister of State Cornelia Pieper issued the following statement today (6 November):
“The fall of the Berlin Wall sent a message around the world. The end of Germany’s division shows that a peaceful revolution is possible. Civic courage and the desire for freedom ended 40 years of division and brought down the Wall after 28 years. They ended injustice, coercion, as well as the state’s efforts to control the lives of citizens and force them to toe the line.
The last 20 years have also shown that divided peoples can grow together. States which were hostile to each other for decades now form a strong union. The fall of the Berlin Wall enabled the peoples and cultures of Europe to grow together and paved the way for European integration.
These messages – freedom and reconciliation – have lost none of their relevancy. Within the framework of cultural relations and education policy, I will seek to ensure that they are also heard in conflict regions. The activities of Germany’s missions abroad and branches of the Goethe-Institut to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall are an important contribution towards this.”