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Germany/25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Published on November 10, 2014
Message from M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, in the special edition of the Bild Zeitung
Berlin, November 10, 2014

On 9 November 1989, like millions of French women and men, I unreservedly shared in the German people’s infinite happiness. I had admired their courage in the preceding weeks. Together with the fall of the Wall, a dictatorship was falling, an iniquitous division was disappearing and, as President François Mitterrand put it, Europe was “returning to her history and her geography”. The France of 1989, which was celebrating the bicentenary of its revolution, embraced those hours of liberty and fraternity. It supported Germany’s reunification, and it was a Frenchman, too – European Commission President Jacques Delors – who provided the decisive impetus to ensure that the integration of the new Länder into the European Community would take place under the best possible conditions.

Twenty-five years on, the fall of the Wall is a common heritage by which the French, Germans and other Europeans are bound, because we can see that peace and security are again becoming a challenge – including at the European Union’s borders –, because we see new fanaticisms emerging which trample on human freedom and dignity, and because some people – even within our society – would like to build walls to divide us.

This heritage obliges us to be committed, including far from Europe. This is what our countries are doing in the face of the terrorists in Iraq, Syria and the Sahel. This heritage obliges France and Germany in particular to take initiatives to deepen the European project and, first and foremost, boost the economic growth our continent needs, because it is to young people that Europe must look.

I send Germans my very best wishes. They have made efforts since 9 November 1989 to make a success of their unity through democracy, solidarity and prosperity. France is delighted by Germany’s success today, for Germany is not only our closest partner but also a friendly nation with which we share the ideals that led to the fall of the Wall./.

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