8 Nov 2014

Germany marks fall of the Berlin Wall

9:19 pm on 8 November 2014

Germany has kicked off celebrations marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, with rock stars and political figures from the era joining millions at an open-air party.

The celebrations were opened by the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit where 8000 illuminated balloons were placed along 15km of the former Wall.

The celebrations were opened by the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit where 8000 illuminated balloons were placed along 15km of the former Wall. Photo: AFP

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, is leading three days of commemorations for the hundreds killed trying to flee the repressive state and the landmark moment that led to the end of the cold war.

Eight thousand illuminated balloons have been installed along much of the former route of the wall of the weekend to be released into the sky on 9 November, the day the wall came down.

The government of the former East Germany built the wall in 1961 to prevent its citizens from leaving the country for the West, 138 people died trying to cross the border along the wall.

The wall became a flashpoint in the cold war between the Western world and the Soviet Union.

The collapse of the wall and East Germany lead to the reunification of the country in 1990.

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