Germany marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a series of commemorations on Saturday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the historical significance of the fall of the wall that separated East and West Germany for decades.
"The call for freedom has led to the emergence of new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, it enabled Germany and Europe grow together," Merkel said in a speech she delivered during the official commemorations.
Merkel expressed her gratitude to the thousands of protestors who took the streets for peaceful protests 30 years ago in the communist East Germany.
"They all deserve our utmost respect and deepest gratitude," she said.
The German Chancellor underlined that the date of Nov. 9 was not only a day of joy, but also a day of grief for the country, due to the violent anti-Jewish pogroms that took place on Nov. 9-10 in 1938.
"This reminds us that we must continue to combat hatred, racism and anti-semitism, in a decisive manner," she stressed.
Merkel also called for stronger engagement by citizens to defend freedoms and democracy, amid rise of right-wing populist movements in Germany and Europe.
"We must do everything we can to protect freedoms and democracy, human dignity and rule of law," she said.
The German Chancellor and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier hosted international guests, including leaders from Slovakia, Poland, Czechia, and Hungary, during the official ceremonies.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, and mayors from Berlin’s other partner cities, also attended the commemoration events.
They filled the cracks of the last piece of Berlin Wall on Bernauer Street with roses, paying tribute to the more than 200 people died in 1961-1989, while trying to cross the Berlin Wall.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.