Merkel lauds courage of East Germany dissidents

A woman places a rose in a preserved segment of the Berlin Wall memorial at Bernauer Strasse on November 9, 2013 in Berlin, on occasion of the 24th anniversary of the fall of the WallAngela Merkel on Saturday praised the “courage” of those who first opposed the former East Germany, emphasising their role in the fall of the Berlin Wall, ahead of 25th anniversary celebrations on November 9. The German chancellor, in her weekly podcast, said those who had challenged the former communist regime from within — people involved in citizen groups and the democratic opposition to the communist regime — had “demonstrated courage”. “They gave courage to others,” she said, particularly the hundreds of thousands who participated in the “Monday demonstrations” in Leipzig and across other East German cities, whose actions shook the regime’s rulers. A former citizen of East Germany herself, Merkel also spoke of the “indescribable feeling” at the fall of the wall on November 9, 1989.

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