Germany, allies mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall

In Berlin, Pompeo says allied democracies must work together

Speaking in Berlin Friday during a visit marking the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pompeo said that, 30 years later, authoritarianism is once again rising.

The toppling of the wall on November 9th, 1989, which had divided the Communist-ruled East and the capitalist West in Berlin for almost three decades, was followed a year later by the reunification of Germany in 1990.

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 Berlin Wall was built.

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. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will maintain a speech.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the United States to be a "mutually respectful partner" and reject nationalism, in a clear salvo aimed at USA leader Donald Trump as Germany on Saturday marked 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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.

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"Liberal democracy is being challenged and questioned", Steinmeier said, calling on Germany and its European allies to keep fighting for a peaceful and united Europe.

Angela Merkel urged Europe to defend "democracy and freedom, human rights and tolerance" at a ceremony to celebrate the occasion.

"If nations believe that they can get the security benefit without providing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation the resources that it needs, if they don't live up to their commitments, there is a risk that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could become ineffective or obsolete", he said.

Faced with a mercurial US President Donald Trump, European leaders including Merkel have in the last years intensified their calls for the bloc to ensure that it stand on its own feet.

The fall of the wall also triggered a series of events that led to the reunion of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic.

Saturday was also the anniversary of the Kristallnacht - the night of broken glass - when thousands of Jewish homes, synagogues and businesses were attacked in Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938.

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