Germany Celebrates Berlin Wall Anniversary

Monday at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Germans on the 20-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"I am delighted to be here in Berlin, the city that meant so much, not only to the German people, but to the European and the American people and the world," Clinton said at the Chancellory.

"I congratulate the chancellor, not only on the very well deserved occasion here, but on the work that she and her government are doing here. It is an honor to be representing the United States."

Twenty years after the collapse of the wall that divided East and West Berlin, Clinton said Sunday at an earlier event, the hard work that went into ending the Cold War must be channeled to meet fresh challenges, including the fights against extremism and climate change.

As the Obama administration looks to often reluctant European allies to bolster their NATO forces in Afghanistan, Clinton said Monday's commemoration of Nov. 9, 1989, the night "when history pierced the concrete and concertina wire," must look forward and not back , The Associated Press reports.

It was also reported, Selke was just 16 when the Wall was breached.

Her family lived on one of the streets that ran up to the Wall, and she gets very emotional whenever she talks about it.

"It's like an explosion in my heart," she said.

"Before I had no chances. After the Wall came down, I had every chance."

She'd been being groomed as a gymnast for the old East Germany.

If the Wall had stayed, she could have been representing the GDR at international level, BBC News reports.

News agencies also report, Tarver, now 79, was an official with the Stasi secret police, the organisation that turned one-in-three of the 17 million citizens of the German Democratic Republic into informers. On the night that the wall came down, he was meeting with his contact officer in a safe house in East Berlin.

"When I came out I went to the pub, which I always did, and it had happened," the he recalled. "Í remember people were saying 'yeah, we can go over now!'"

A GDR secretary working at the British embassy in East Berlin said officials had found out that Tarver, because of his Communist background in England as a party organiser, was "classified as a dangerous and devious operator".

"I love that! I will have it engraved on my tombstone," he laughed. "I'm not an adventurous type. I try to avoid danger."

He now regrets supporting Communism with such zeal: "It's a scar on my mind," he said, adding he has gone back to his Catholic roots. "I'm unhappy without a strong belief system. For a year or two, after the collapse of Socialism here, I didn't have it. But I found my way back to the Church," reports.

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