Ironic: almost 20 years ago Ronald Reagan gave his famous speech in front of the Berlin Wall telling Gorbachev to “Tear Down That Wall!” and now I’d like to convince you that tearing what’s left of it down to be a terrible idea.
The Berlin Wall was constructed to separate the communist East-Berlin from the Democratic West-Berlin. The wall was a way to stop East Berliners and anyone inside the Soviet Unions territory from entering the democratic and economically more developed, wealthy West Berlin. The wall was one of the symbols of oppression, communism and the Cold War.
Today the Wall is one of the most important landmarks in Europe and a constant reminder of our dark history. The wall tells the story of a country; no, a nation that survived and changed to become the leader that Germany is today. The wall is a landmark and no further demolition should occur.
Nobody should forget Hitler and his crimes. Nobody should forget the USSR and Communism. Nobody should forget the times when Germany and Europe were divided. It is symbols like that wall that will forever remind us why we are working towards a European identity, why we work for peace and unity – why we still believe in the European Union.
Angela Merkel, Don’t Tear Down that Wall!
(AlJazeera: It was one of Europe’s biggest symbols of division, but years later, the Berlin Wall is bringing protesters together to fight developers who want to knock part of what remains down.After dividing the east and west of the city for 28 years the wall officially came down in November 1989.Two sections of the wall were left standing and in 1990 a 1.3 kilometre stretch was decorated with murals – known as the East Side Gallery.Developers now want to remove a 22 metre stretch of the gallery to make way for new apartments and a footbridge.Al Jazeera’s Nick Spicer reports from Berlin.)