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Tech remembers fall of Berlin Wall with interactive event

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

This powerful line, delivered by President Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987 in his West Berlin address, is perhaps one of the most famous lines surrounding the Berlin Wall. The wall, which was constructed in 1961 to physically split the city of Berlin, Germany, was the Soviet Union’s attempt to separate Soviet-controlled East Berlin from the Western Allies-controlled West Berlin. Beyond physically splitting the German capital, the wall also ideologically separated the city as it became a physical representation of the Soviet “Iron Curtain” that had fallen over eastern Germany and much of eastern Europe. Reagan, along with individuals from around the world, called for Soviet Union to tear down the wall, and it finally fell in 1989. 

This Wednesday, Nov. 11 Young Americans for Freedom, a student organization at Michigan Tech, hosted an interactive Berlin Wall memorial exhibit on campus. Replica pieces of the wall were constructed, and students, faculty, or anyone else on campus were urged to spray paint messages of hope and freedom on the wall, just as many Berliners did during the actual wall’s tenure in Germany. The wall was then deconstructed at the end of the day, representative of the wall’s actual destruction on Nov. 9, 1989.

2020 marks 31 years since the wall’s demise. The “fall of the Berlin Wall,” as it is known, is symbolic of the reunification of Germany and is remembered as a plight against injustice and for democracy. 

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