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Celebrations begin for Berlin Wall's fall 25 years on

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev leaves an imprint of his hands as he visits the Checkpoint Charlie border crossing in Berlin, on November 7, 2014Germany kicked off celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the epochal fall of the Berlin Wall Friday, set to culminate in rock stars and freedom icons joining millions at an open-air party. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, was leading three days of commemorations for those killed trying to flee the repressive state, ahead of a giant festival Sunday marking the joyous breach of Europe’s Cold War division on November 9, 1989. The festivities under the banner “Courage for Freedom” are remembering the peaceful revolution that led communist authorities to finally open the border after 28 years in which Easterners were prisoners of their own country. Germany would reunite within the year, on October 3, 1990.

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