In 1989 hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors ended the dictatorship in the German Democratic Republic and brought down the Berlin Wall. On 9 November it will be exactly 25 years since this inhuman structure finally crumbled. The German government and the state of Berlin invite everybody in Germany to join them in celebrating the anniversary of this historic day.
A huge party will be held at the Brandenburg Gate with the motto “The Courage to be Free”. Actor Jan Josef Liefers will present a rich and varied evening programme, including memories of the peaceful revolution, the opening of a symbolic "border of lights" and, of course, lots of good music. The programme, which has been put together by the Berlin-based performing arts company phase7 under Sven Sören Beyer, includes die Fantastischen Vier, Udo Lindenberg and Paul Kalkbrenner. Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin will play the Fourth Movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy).
When the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, the pictures of the Brandenburg Gate went round the world. People hugged and danced on the Wall. The images can be rediscovered at the party. But the events that led up to that night have not been forgotten either, starting with a commemoration of the people who lost their lives at the Berlin Wall. Eyewitnesses, people who resisted the SED dictatorship in East Germany, including singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann, will be taking part in a discussion.
How to get to the Courage to be Free party PDF, 540 KB, barrier-free
As of 7 November, a 12-kilometre-long "border of lights" made of 8,000 white balloons will mark the course of the Wall - from Bornholmer Strasse, through the Mauerpark, past the Berlin Wall Memorial in the Bernauer Strasse and the Reichstag building, the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie to the East Side Gallery.
Everybody can be part of this balloon border. Adopt a balloon and tell as about your personal experience of the Wall, your memories of the day the Wall fell, or just your special message at www.fallofthewall25.com.
The party will kick off at 14:00 with interviews, films and music, including an appearance by Clueso. You will find more details here.
On the other side of the Brandenburg Gate, on the Pariser Platz, you will find an interesting range of information: the German government is showing a "journey through time", a video installation that will take you through the salient moments of the last hundred years of German history. Several institutions dedicated to the peaceful revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall and coming to terms with the SED dictatorship will be on hand with a range of information materials to answer your questions.
In the most recent issue of the magazine "Deutschland aktuell" Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote, "Yes, we have every reason to be grateful – to those who had the courage to be free, to those who brought Germany together with great political skill and vision, and to all those who have made the most of the opportunities opened up by freedom over the last 25 years."