Germans mark the fall of the Berlin Wall with a Trabant parade

Breaking down barriers West German punk band die Toten Hosen playing the Hoffnungskirche in East Berlin 1988. Mark Reeder Author provided

Breaking down barriers West German punk band die Toten Hosen playing the Hoffnungskirche in East Berlin 1988. Mark Reeder Author provided

Leaders of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic attended the ceremony at Bernauer Strasse - the place one of many final elements of the Berlin Wall stays - earlier than inserting roses in openings within the once-formidable barrier that divided town for 28 years, USA Immediately reported.

I remember the people who were killed here at this wall because they were looking for freedom.

Jens Schmidt, who fled East Germany before the fall of the Wall by driving his Trabi to Hungary and then across the open border to the West, said the club has many young members for whom learning to fix the simple but sturdy vehicles can be a lesson in history and civics, too.

The communist authorities finally opened border crossings that day "teaches us that no wall that shuts people out and limits freedom is so tall or broad that it can not be broken through", Merkel said.

On November 9, 1989, East German border guards, overwhelmed by large crowds, threw open the gates to West Berlin, allowing free passage for the first time since the Wall was built.

Mr Steinmeier said, however, that the historic event did not mark the "end of history" as USA historian Francis Fukuyama stated.

The struggle of political systems continues and the future is more uncertain than ever before, he added.

"The values on which Europe is founded - freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, respect for human rights - are anything but self-evident".

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Speaking to the Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily, Merkel said the fact that she had been able to push through unpopular policies during her 14 years in office was partly due to the fact that she was used to having a dissenting opinion in her youth.

"Power is shifting away from Europe, authoritarian models are on the rise, the United States is increasingly looking inwards and worldwide law is losing ground", he said. "Walls that stand in the way of our cohesion" he warned, as he urged Germans to "tear down these walls, at long last".

"The United States and our allies and partners remain steadfast in our unwavering allegiance to advancing the principles of individual liberty and freedom that have sustained peace and spawned unparalleled prosperity", he added.

The momentous event would end up bringing the communist regime crashing down, leading to German reunification a year later and heralding the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Light installations, concerts and public debates are planned throughout the city and other parts of Germany to mark the fall of the Wall.

Events are also being held on Saturday to mark the horrors or November 9, 1938, when Hitler's Third Reich unleashed a pogrom against Germany's Jewish community in what became known as the Night of Broken Glass, or Kristallnacht.

Celebrations will culminate this day in the Brandenburg Gate on a massive stage show, in which the Staatskapelle, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, will start the festivities.

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