Police tear down private Berlin Wall memorial

5th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 July 2005, BERLIN - German police Tuesday demolished a controversial memorial honouring those who were killed while trying to flee the former East Berlin communist regime.

5 July 2005

BERLIN - German police Tuesday demolished a controversial memorial honouring those who were killed while trying to flee the former East Berlin communist regime.

In a bid to head off the demolition, protesters had chained themselves to a few of the more than 1,000 wooden crosses that stood near the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing where the Berlin Wall once divided the city.

Emotions over the forced removal of the memorial have been running high, with some of those chaining themselves to the crosses including former East German political prisoners.

Each of the 1,065 crosses were devoted to the people killed trying to cross the wall, which stood from 1961 until a popular uprising swept away the communist regime in late 1989.

The police move came after the memorial's initiator, Alexandra Hildebrandt, refused to dismantle it despite giving notice on the lease and calls from the owners of the land, BAG Bank, for the display to be taken down.

The bank wanted the site, which is prime Berlin real estate, cleared so that they can proceed with the sale of the land.

Supporters of the private memorial lost a court battle to save the display and failed to raise the money to purchase the site where the crosses were erected.

The memorial played no roll in official plans for marking Berlin's Cold War divide.

Berlin's Social Democrat-led government plans to build a museum marking the Cold War near the German capital's historic Brandenburg Gate, a few kilometres away from the Checkpoint Charlie site.

Copyright DPA with Expatica

Subject: German news

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