25 years later, Germany celebrates fall of Berlin Wall

  • Ameya N Bhise, Hindustan Times, Berlin
  • Updated: Nov 10, 2014 02:24 IST

It was a Wall that not just divided a country and a city, but also separated families and friends. The Berlin Wall, which was brought down 25 years ago on November 9, 1989, cut through areas that were once reliant on one and another, and even split homes.

A total of 138 people, including 8 soldiers, were killed in the conflict, in which people wanted to move from East Berlin to West Berlin.

As Berlin kicked off the official celebrations on Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country would always be grateful for the courage of East Germans who took to the streets to protest.


People walk under the lit balloons placed along the former Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz as part of the installation 'Lichtgrenze' in Berlin, on Sunday.(Reuters)

Terming it “nothing short of a miracle” that the Wall came down without a shot being fired, Merkel said, “It was a day that showed us the yearning for freedom cannot be forever suppressed.”

Merkel opened an overhauled museum at the site of the present Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse street, which still has some surviving sections of the Wall.

A couple, whose story finds a mention at the DDR Museum, was separated for 29 years after the Wall came up. While Wolfgang Aue lived in West Berlin, his wife, Helga Aue, and their two children stayed in East Berlin. The couple could spend only their summer holidays together in Hungary, or meet on public holidays, until the Wall came down. After 29 years, they finally moved in together and lived in the west part of the city.


Pictures of people who died as they tried to escape east Berlin are screend during a Street Party organised by the German governement to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Sunday. (AFP Photo)

More than a million people, out on the streets of Berlin on an overcast, bitterly cold Sunday, heard of and read about many such heart wrenching tales.

Thousands who had gathered on the east side of the Brandenburg Gate — the symbol of German unity — were glued to big screens playing documentaries, waiting for the fireworks show. On the other side, 8,000 illuminated balloons tied along a 15-km stretch of the original wall made for perfect photo taking opportunities. The celebrations will reach a crescendo when the lit up balloons are released in the air (around midnight IST), symbolising the fall of the Wall.

The reporter has travelled to Berlin as a guest of the German Consulate, Delhi


A part of the inner city of Berlin is being temporarily divided from November 7 to 9, with a light installation featuring 8000 luminous white balloons, following the 9.5-mile (15.3 kmilometre) path the Berlin Wall once occupied, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. (Reuters)

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