Music and symbolism mark 25th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall
Around 8,000 helium balloons have been released during the events marking 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down
Young members of the project Zirkus Ueberwindet Grenzen (Circus without Borders) sit atop the East Side Gallery / REUTERSThe balloons traced the course of the Wall, which for decades had come to symbolise the Cold War. The Berlin State Orchestra played Beethoven’s Ode to Joy — which is also the European anthem — in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
Over a million people from around the world attended the events which also included a tribute to the 138 or so people who were killed trying to escape from East to West of the once divided city. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop people fleeing the communist East.
One Berliner said, “I was born in Berlin when the city was divided by the allies and my family was divided too, right until the wall came down. For me, today is day of great happiness.”
A younger German gave his take on the day’s events, “It’s about tearing down walls in people’s mind, in other countries and between religions as well… it’s about trying to get on well with each other and that’s the message I take from this.”
The mixture of symbolism and music gave way to a party mood with thousands dancing as they watched a sound and light show in the city centre. Earlier Chancellor Angela Merkel, herself brought up in the former GDR had said the collapse of the Wall showed that dreams can come true.