Germany celebrates 25th anniversary of fall of the Berlin Wall

White balloons mark route of  Berlin Wall close to Brandenburg Gate. 8 Nov 2014 Illuminated white balloons, seen here near the Brandenburg Gate, mark the route of the Berlin Wall
White balloons mark route of Berlin Wall close to Brandenburg Gate. 8 Nov 2014
Illuminated white balloons, seen here near the Brandenburg Gate, mark the route of the Berlin Wall

Celebrations are being held in Germany to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Concerts and exhibitions are being staged in the city and Chancellor Angela Merkel will later attend a huge open-air party at the Brandenburg Gate.

White balloons marking a stretch of the wall will be released to symbolise its disappearance.

The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop people fleeing from Communist East Germany to the West.

Its fall in 1989 became a powerful symbol of the end of the Cold War.

Chancellor Merkel will be joined for the festivities by former Polish trade union leader Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader.

The wall stretched for 155km (96 miles) through Berlin but today only about three kilometres of it still stands.

Within a year of its collapse, Germany – divided after its defeat in World War Two – was reunited.

White balloons mark route of  Berlin Wall. 8 Nov 2014 The route of the Berlin Wall is picked out by the illuminated balloons
White balloons mark route of Berlin Wall. 8 Nov 2014
The route of the Berlin Wall is picked out by the illuminated balloons

More than a million visitors have descended on Berlin for the weekend of festivities that will culminate later on Sunday at the Brandenburg Gate.

The monument itself was inaccessible during the partition of Germany and is seen as a symbol of the country’s reunification.

On Saturday, people posed for photos in front of the few remaining graffiti-daubed slabs of the wall, or read information boards about life under Berlin’s 28-year division.

Others admired the art installation of almost 7,000 white balloons, pegged to the ground and winding along a 15km (nine miles) stretch of the wall’s route.

At the bustling Potsdamer Platz, which was once cut in two by the wall, a small crowd watched archive footage of East German demonstrators chanting: “We are the people.”

Reference: bbc.com, reuters

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