In a world that is increasingly globalized, but not united and, indeed, it's building new barriers such as that between "Western" and "Islamic", today we celebrate the 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a symbolic night, not only for the Germans. There are young people born in those days, in those months, who have never seen the maps with the two German states and, instead, have grew in a Europe without frontiers.
But twenty years ago moving from one country to another meant submitting to lengthy customs checks. It also meant not to cross certain boundaries. The Berlin Wall came down quickly, in one night, just as quickly it was built.
The irony is that Germany, today, is celebrating this historic day under the rule of a woman who grew up in the East side and she has experienced that strong upheaval. Angela Merkel, tonight, will symbolically pass the former border at Bornholmer strasse bearing arm with Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev. Over there it was open one of the first passages and from there will begin the festivities. There, the wall will fall again: over a thousand blocks of polystyrene eight feet tall, painted by artists, but especially young students, were installed by two days, ready to fall during this cerimony in a domino effect that will go to the Reichstag .
Lech Wałęsa and the then-Communist reformer Hungarian premier Miklós Németh will take the hammer to break those initial 2 km of wall rebuilt. At the other extreme, to receive the last piece, there will be the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, to symbolize the great changes not only Germany but all Europe have had in these 20 years. "These will be hours of excitement, for many Germans and many Europeans. We will never forget the help of friendly countries," said Angela Merkel.
From the night when the wall was demolished, the path was inevitable, with Helmut Kohl who was able to achieve the political and economic unification of the coutry: this will show how the two former states were far apart.
Today, twenty years later, the hopes that were achievable with the fall of that symbol are not changed. The reunification of Germany, the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, the disruption of all east countries, all this has taught us that walls can fall, but also that every day we are building new ones.
Tonight there will be new pictures that will go down in history. But from twenty years ago will remain, among others, the one of Rostropovich (at that time banned by all countries in Eastern Europe) who began to play with his cello some Bach suites: a sad music "because now we are happy but we must remember that the Wall has been suffering, separation, death."
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