Believe it or not, but Europe wasn’t “founded” on liberal democracy. It had existed for centuries before 1945. The postwar era is a blip in the larger story of German history.
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned against taking democracy for granted, at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall.
“No wall that keeps people out and restricts freedom is so high… that it cannot be broken down,” she added.
The wall had separated Soviet-controlled East Berlin and capitalist West Berlin during the Cold War.
Its fall in 1989 was seen as a victory for liberal democracy, and led to Germany’s reunification a year later.
However, Mrs Merkel warned on Saturday that “the values on which Europe is founded – freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights – they are anything but self-evident and they have to be revitalised and defended time and time again”.
“We stand stripped of any excuses and are required to do our part of freedom and democracy,” she added in a ceremony at the Berlin Wall memorial. …
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was not at the ceremony, but visited Berlin earlier this week.
During a speech on Friday, he warned that “freedom is never guaranteed”.
He criticised the human rights records of the Russian and Chinese governments, and said: “Today, authoritarianism is once again rising.”
The Third Reich was an even smaller blip.
The future of Germany is moving on beyond both into the 21st century.