Giant puppets celebrate German unity

5th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

The wooden and metal marionettes, a 15-metre giant from the west and his five-metre little "niece" giant from the east, reunited at the gate which was for 45 years the border between communist east and capitalist west.

Berlin -- More than 1.5 million people watched gigantic puppets parade in the German capital at the weekend as part of celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, organisers said Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of people were out on Sunday to look at the towering mechanical marionettes.

The crowd was so packed on Saturday at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate to watch the puppets that police had to block access to the site several hours earlier than scheduled.

The wooden and metal marionettes, a 15-metre giant from the west and his five-metre little "niece" giant from the east, reunited at the gate which was for 45 years the border between communist east and capitalist west.

On the last day of the street show Sunday, the two characters symbolically returned to the crowd tens of thousands of letters intercepted by East Germany's Stasi secret police.

Dozens of artists and technicians from the French troupe Royal de Luxe manoeuvred the puppets across several kilometres, stopping by other Berlin landmarks such as the Reichstag parliament and Checkpoint Charlie, a former East-West passage.

The 1.6-million-euro Royal de Luxe show is part of a host of celebrations in the runup to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9.

They will peak with a party on both sides of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9 to which the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as well as political leaders from the 27-nation European Union and other countries have been invited.

AFP/Expatica

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