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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish president to mark fall of Berlin Wall in visit to Germany

07.11.2019 13:16
Polish President Andrzej Duda will on Saturday take part in ceremonies in Germany commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, a historic moment that symbolised the crumbling of communism in Europe.
President Andrzej Duda, pictured in Poland earlier this week
President Andrzej Duda, pictured in Poland earlier this week Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

The wall was a physical marker of the ideological divide between the repressive communist regimes in the East and the democratic capitalist West.

The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop East Germans fleeing to the West. It fell on November 9, 1989.

Duda was on Saturday also scheduled to take part in a ceremony at a monument in the German capital commemorating the contribution of what are now the Visegrad Group countries to the fall of the Berlin Wall, his office said.

The Visegrad Group is a regional cooperation platform comprising Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, all of which were once behind the Iron Curtain.

Five months before the wall collapsed, Poland had already held its first partially-free elections after World War II.

The Solidarity pro-democracy movement scored a resounding victory in the June 4, 1989 election, winning all the seats available to it in the lower house of Poland’s parliament and all but one seat in the freely contested Senate, the upper chamber.

The vote precipitated a domino effect across the region, culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall in November that year.

While in Germany, President Duda was also expected to visit the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum near Berlin. Sachsenhausen was the site of one of Nazi Germany’s first concentration camps. More than 200,000 people were interned there, including political prisoners.

(pk/gs)

Source: president.pl/en