Merkel thanks Eastern Europeans for fall of Berlin Wall

5th May 2009, Comments 1 comment

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, was speaking to her Christian Democratic Union at commemorations marking the Wall's collapse.

Berlin -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday thanked Eastern Europeans 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, saying that the joyous moment would not have been possible without them.

"We would like to thank the peoples of Eastern Europe who peacefully liberated themselves from the yoke of Soviet dictatorship and opened the Iron Curtain," she said.

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, was speaking to her Christian Democratic Union at commemorations marking the Wall's collapse as well as the 60th anniversary of the founding of the German federal republic.

"We would like to thank the American pilots and the Polish shipyard workers, just to name two groups," she said, referring to the US-led Berlin Airlift that kept the city alive during a Soviet blockade from 1948 to1949 as well as Lech Walesa's historic anti-communist Solidarity trade union in the 1980s.

"If they had not risked their lives, we would not be gathered here today," she said. "We celebrate this historic state of happiness," noting that Germany was now surrounded on all sides by "free neighbours."

Germany has planned celebrations throughout the year marking the fall of the despised Wall in a peaceful revolution, culminating on the anniversary, November 9.

AFP/Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • Edward J Joos III posted:

    on 5th May 2009, 23:20:14 - Reply

    Merkel has forgotten about how the US Military Intelligence caused the collapse of the Soviets. Also 750,000 US troops that served within Germany's borders kept the Soviets at bay. Let's not forget our partners the Deutsche Bundeswehr, through their vigilance made the Soviets think twice about going over the Fulda. East Germans mostly were caught trying to escape, however many did not even try. The fall of the wall had many sources that caused the Soviets to quit and move back to their homeland.