Germany celebrates 30th Anniversary of fall of Berlin wall

Berlin [Germany], Nov 9 (ANI): Germans mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Saturday with rallies, memorials and exhibitions.

"With the fall of the Wall, there is now no excuse not to fight for freedom, We want to ensure that no wall will separate people ever again," Merkel said in a speech.

A bronze statue of late US President Ronald Reagan, clutching the cards inscribed with his 1987 speech challenging Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, to "tear down this wall," was unveiled by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Germany's capital city on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The statue located in the US Embassy, overlooks the landmark Brandenburg Gate and the site where Reagan gave his famous 1987 speech urging the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to support peace and "tear down this Wall", reports Deutsche Welle, the German state-owned public international broadcaster.

Hailing it as a "monumental moment," Pompeo praised Reagan, saying he "courageously denounced the greatest threat to that freedom, the Soviet empire, the evil empire".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel thanked the US for its support in reunification."That the USA, along with (late President) George Bush, helped and supported us on the path to German reunification is something that we will never forget," she said at the press conference with Pompeo.

Recently, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Europe is "on the brink" and transatlantic partnership NATO was suffering from "brain death".

Not only Macron, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Friday left behind a stark warning: "As we celebrate, we must also recognise that freedom is never guaranteed.

Moreover, the Berlin wall may have collapsed years ago but various studies across the board show that the division in the eastern and western side of the country still remains.

According to Steffen Mau, a sociology professor at Berlin's Humboldt University, many gaps particularly economic one still exists.

"But you still have strong differences in attitudes and mentality," he told CNN. "How people see the former Communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) differs quite a lot between the East and the West, how [people] trust democratic institutions, their view of the elites or the media, (and) relations to Russia," he said.

"Most west Germans would say there is no difference anymore, it was all washed out in the transformation, while most East Germans would say there is still striking difference between East and West," Mau explained.

As per a Halle Institute for Economic Research report, only 36 of Germany's 500 biggest companies have headquarters in the East.

Mau further added that "Three-quarters of the lead positions in east Germany are occupied by people with a west German background."

But three decades later, an invisible fence still stretches across Germany. It is diminishing, but it's still there, CNN reported. (ANI)