News

Berlin Prepares for Celebrations 20 Years After Fall of Wall

Berlin Prepares for Celebrations 20 Years After Fall of Wall
Berlin Prepares for Celebrations 20 Years After Fall of Wall

Multimedia

<!-- IMAGE -->

The German capital Berlin prepares for major commemorative celebrations on Monday, November 9 - to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall that divided the city and the entire country for nearly three decades during the Cold War.

The Brandenburg Gate may be Berlin's best known landmark, but it's been looking more like a construction site recently. Barriers are being set up, a seating area for visiting dignitaries, lights and banners.

But, there's good reason - this will be the focal point for the celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel plays host to current and former world leaders and senior officials, including former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, current European heads of state and government and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The schedule of events includes open air concerts, special exhibits and a grand fireworks display to top it all off.

<!-- IMAGE -->

A main event will be a long line of oversize dominoes - each 2.5 meters-high - running in part right across the front of the Brandenburg Gate to the nearby parliament building, the Reichstag.

Moritz Van Duelmen, is director of Kulturprojekte Berlin, the state company organizing the main events. He says the dominoes celebrate the power of people to bring change.

"Because it was the peaceful revolution of the people in the former GDR [East Germany], but before it was the Polish people and it was the Hungarian people, it was in the former east and middle east [central] European countries," said Moritz Van Duelmen. "And this is the reason we chose the idea with the dominoes because it's a kind of domino effect."

Organizers say they expect some 100,000 visitors on the streets on Monday for the events.

And despite the presence of so many major world leaders in town, organizers say they want the events connect with ordinary people and to serve as a lesson to the next generation.

"The Berlin Wall was not the only wall in the world," he said. "We have many walls in some countries like Korea, or in Palestine or in Cyprus - also between the United States and Mexico. You have so many walls which divide people and what can we do to tear down these walls in the world."

For nearly three decades the Berlin Wall ran through the heart of the city, dividing it into East and West. Monday marks the end of that divide - 20 years ago.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs