推倒这堵墙(图)

里根1987年柏林墙演讲


美国政坛内幕:里根“柏林墙”演说之争

【看中国2013年11月13日讯】

罗纳的.里根
在德国布兰登堡大门的演说
1987年6月12日,西柏林

科尔首相,市长先生,女士们先生们:

二十年以前,肯尼迪总统曾访问柏林,在市政厅对这个城市的人们以及全世界的人们讲话。从那时起,有另外两位美国总统到过这里。今天,我本人,第二次到访你们这座城市。

我们,几位美国总统,到柏林来,是因为我们有责任在这个地方声张自由。但是我必须承认,我们被此地吸引还有另外一个原因:那就是这座城市的历史感——比我们的国家还要久远500年的历史;是Grunewald和Tiergarten的美丽;更多的,是你们的勇气和果敢。或许作曲家鲍尔.林克,更为了解美国的总统们。你们看,正如在我之前莅临过这里的几位总统,我今天到这里来是因为,无论我到哪里,无论我做什么,我总是要到柏林来一趟,至今我还在柏林存有一只衣箱。

对全欧洲各地的听众们,我要表达我最热切的问候以及来自美国人民的最良好的意愿。对那些东柏林的听众,这里另有特别的致意:尽管我无法与你们谋面,如同站在我面前的西德听众们,我也向你们致以由衷的祝福。在我能与你们汇聚一堂之前,我只能先站在此地,与你们西柏林的同胞们在一起,认同一种坚定执著,一种不可改变的信念:柏林,只有一个。

在我身后,竖立着一堵墙,把这座城市自由的区域包围起来,这是一列巨大的壁垒,把整个欧洲大陆辟为两半。从波罗的海以南,这列围墙纵贯德国,带刺的铁丝网,混凝土围障,隔离带以及哨卡和岗楼,像一个巨大的切开的伤口。再往南,或许还存在着一串看不见的或许并不昭彰的围墙,然而,手握钢枪的士兵和巡查哨却无时无刻不在那里执行监视——还在限制人们旅行的权利,集权国家仍然在那里对普普通通的男人和女人们施加强权控制。

然而,在此地,在柏林,突兀的围墙最为醒目;这里,围墙切割了你们的城市,新闻图片和电视屏幕已经把这个残酷的景象揭示给全世界。站在布兰登堡大门之前,每个德国人与自己的同胞都天各一方。每个德国人都不得不面对这一处历史的伤疤。冯.维塞克总统曾说过,“只要布兰登堡大门依然紧闭,德国问题就解决不了。”

然而今天......今天我要说:只要这座大门还关闭着,只要大家还忍看这处伤疤的存在,悬而未决的就不仅仅是德国问题,而是关诸全人类自由的问题。

是的,我到这里,不是来表达悲天悯人的情绪的,因为我在柏林察觉到希望的讯息,即便是这堵墙的巨大阴影,也遮蔽不住胜利的曙光。

1945年,同样在这样的春日,柏林的人民走出防空掩体,看到的是战后的满目疮痍。数千英里之外,美国人们伸出援手相助。1947年,国务秘书——如同你们所了解的——乔治.马歇尔宣布了举世闻名的马歇尔计划。正是在40年前的这个月份,他说,“我们的政策不是针对任何国家或任何信条的,而是针对人类的饥饿、贫困、绝望和混乱的。”

不久前,在德国议会大厦,我见到了马歇尔计划的纪念展示。我被一处战争残存的建筑震撼了——一处烧毁后重建的建筑残留。我知道,与我同年龄段的一代人,看到这个残存建筑都能回忆起这座城市里战前星罗棋布的古典建筑群。战争的残骸简单地叙说到,“马歇尔计划曾在这里帮助我们,强化自由世界的力量。” 在西方,一个强大的,自由的世界已经梦想成真。日本也已经从废墟中站立起来,成为经济上的巨人。意大利、法国、比利时——几乎所有西欧国家都获得了政治和经济上的重生;欧洲共同体已经建立起来。

在西德,在这里,在柏林,也出现了经济上的奇迹。阿登纳,怀特,以及其他领导人都懂得实行自由政治的重要性——同样的,也是真理——只要新闻记者能有表达的自由,繁荣就会到来;只要农人和商人们都能享有经济自由,繁荣就会到来。德国领导人——他们降低了关税,扩展了自由贸易,降低了国人的赋税。仅在1950到1960年间,西德和柏林这边人民的生活水平就翻了一番。四十年前还是一片废墟,如今的西柏林已经成为德国最伟大的工业城市;繁忙的办公楼,精美的住区和公寓,气派非凡的大街,幽深的林荫大道和广袤的绿地公园。这里,城市文化曾经被摧毁殆尽,今天已经有了两所著名的大学,有了交响音乐厅和大剧院,有了无数电影院和博物馆。这里有欲求,有充足的食品、衣物、车辆——有无尽的美妙商品。从毁灭,从废墟中,你们,德国人,在自由之下,重建了这座城市,让她再一次成为地球上最伟大的一个城市。现在,苏联或许另有自己的打算。但是我的朋友们,这里有些事情,是苏联人不能指望的:柏林人的心愿,是的,柏林人的幽默,还有,柏林人的意志。

1950年代——在1950年代,何鲁晓夫曾预言,“我们最终将埋葬你们。”但是今天的西方,我们看到一个自由的世界,已经到达人类历史上不曾有过的繁荣昌盛。在共产主义世界那边,我们看到的是失败、技术落后、人民健康水平的下降、甚至无法满足基本的生存需求......过于匮乏的食品供应。甚至到了今天,苏联依然无法养活自己。四十年之后,在这里,面对全世界,有一个伟大的、无法逃避的结论:自由引领繁荣,自由,才能让国与国之间世代幽远的仇怨为和平与友好所取代。自由才是最终的胜利者。

现在......现在,苏联人自己,或许正在以一种有限的方式,渐渐理解自由的重要性。我们听到来自莫斯科的许多声音,关于改革与开放的新政策。一些政治犯已经被释放。一些境外的广播也不再遭到阻隔和干扰。一些经济企业已经从国家控制下获得了极大的经营自由。这是不是苏联一系列伟大变革的开始?还是他们做给西方看某种虚假姿态,只是为了不进行根本的变革而强化原有的苏联体制?我们欢迎变革和开放;因为我们相信,自由和安全是并存的,人类自由的进步——人类自由的进步,只会给世界带来和平。 

在苏联,已经出现了我们不可误解的迹象,那就是会带来自由与和平的戏剧性进步的迹象。

总书记戈尔巴乔夫先生,如果你需求和平,如果你为苏联和东欧的人民寻求繁荣,如果你需求人类的解放,请你到这里来,到这座大门来。

戈尔巴乔夫先生,敞开这座大门。

戈尔巴乔夫先生......戈尔巴乔夫先生,推倒这面墙!

我知道,人们恐惧这个大陆上战争和分裂的痛苦,我想你们保证:我的国家将努力帮助你们克服这些障碍。可以确定的是,我们在西方,必须抵抗苏联的扩张。因此,我们必须保有不可突破的国防力量。无可置疑的是,我们寻求和平;因此我们必须尽力削减双方的军事力量。

十年以前,苏联就以新的武力威胁向西方联盟发起挑战,研制出数百个新的、更为致命的SS-20核导弹,能把欧洲每个首都轰炸一遍。

西方联盟的回应是,让自己也拥有相应的军事实力(除非苏联同意协商更好的方案)——所谓的,削减双方的武器装备。有好几个月时间,苏联拒绝开诚布公地协商。作为西方联盟,相应地,只能进一步装备自己的抵抗实力。曾有过艰难的时日,正如我1982年访问这个城市时的情形,抗议者在街上游行,苏联人从谈判桌旁走开。

但是过后,西方一直保持着坚强的抵抗。我要邀请两位昔日的抗议者......我要邀请今天的抗议者......让他们对这一事实做出评判:

由于我们的强大,苏联人回到谈判桌上来了。由于我们的强大,今天我们终于接近了可能性,不仅仅是限制了武器的增长,还第一次限制了地球上所有核武器的数量和等级。

在我发言的此时此刻,北约部长们正在冰岛会晤,议论我们提议的削减这些武器的计划。所有在日内瓦的会谈,我们同样提出深化削减战略武器的议题。尽管我们在力促削减军备,我向你们保证:我们要抱有抵抗苏联扩张能力的军事实力,在一旦必须的情况下。在我们同盟国之间,美国要力争战略防御机制......达到这样的程度:为必须防御的提供防御保障;它是这样一个系统,简言之,这个系统不会以民众为打击目标,只是为他们提供安全屏障。这些措施只意味着,要增强全欧洲以及全世界的安全。

我们必须牢记一个至关重要的事实:东方与西方,大家并非由于拥有武力而互不信任;相反,我们是由于互不信任,才武装到牙齿。

我们的分歧实际上并不在于武器,而是关于自由。当肯尼迪总统24年前在市政厅演讲的时候,自由就是有局限性的,柏林正陷于围困中。今天,尽管这座城市还承受着种种压力,柏林这一方却保卫着自己的自由。自由,它本身,也正在地球上行走。

在菲律宾、在中南美,民主已经获得新生。跨过太平洋,自由市场在那里创造着一个接一个的经济奇迹。在工业化国家,一场技术革命正在发生,以计算机技术以及电讯技术迅猛的、戏剧性的进步为显著标志。

在欧洲,仅仅一个国家,以及它控制着的国家,还在拒绝加入自由的国际社会。然而,在这个经济成倍激增,信息和发明激增的时代,苏联面临着抉择:它或者做出根本的变革,或者成为孤家寡人。

今天,此刻,正是希望的时刻。我们在西方,时刻准备着与东方共同促进真正的开放,打破隔绝人民的壁垒,创造安全和自由的世界。的确,没有比柏林更好的地方,东西方交融的这一点,来开始这个行动。

柏林自由的人们:今天,如同在过去一样,美国人民在密切关注各方遵守1971年四方协约的执行。让我们利用这个机会,在庆祝这座城市奠立750周年纪念日的时刻,共同呼唤一个新的时代,呼唤新的进展,为柏林未来更丰美的生活。让我们一起维护联邦德国与民主德国之间,由1971年协定批准维护的纽带。

这里,我邀请戈尔巴乔夫先生:让我们一起工作,努力把柏林的东西两部分合为一体,让所有的居民能在世界上这座伟大的城市中共享美好的生活。

开放东西德,乃至开放全欧洲,东方与西方,让我们把这座城市的活力带到更远的地方,找到更好的途径,让德国享有更便利、更舒适、更发达的经济生活。

我们期待着这样一天,西柏林能变成整个中欧的枢纽航空港。

美国将与我们的法国和英国盟友一起,做好帮助和准备,共同带来柏林的国际会晤。让柏林成为联合国会议的适合场所,各国可以在此地聚集一堂,共同探讨人权、武器控制或其他需要世界性合作的议题。

没有更好的地方,比柏林更可以建立对未来的希望,启迪年轻人的心智了,我们将荣幸地在这里召集夏季的青年交流、文化活动,让其他来自东柏林的年轻人也能在一起分享这些交流的快乐。我的法国和英国的朋友们,我肯定,他们也会做同样的努力。我的希望是,东德也正式邀请西德的年轻人过去进行交流。

最后的提议,也是最贴近我本人意愿的:体育体现着快乐和高尚的精神,你们或许注意到,南韩,1988年主办奥林比克运动会的时候,就曾欣然让北朝鲜承办了一些赛事。各种国际体育竞技也可以在这座城市的各个地点举行。如果在未来几年内,东西柏林共同举办奥运会,将会展示给世界一种怎样的开放盛况呢。

我曾说过,近四十年的时间里,你们柏林人创造了伟大的城市。你们,尽管承受着威胁......苏联试图扩散东方的影响,还有阻隔和封锁。今天,这个城市生机勃勃,尽管承受着这堵墙体现着的种种挑战。是什么让你们在这里坚持?当然,自不必说的是你们无比的坚韧,是你们无比的勇气。但是我相信,另有更为深刻的东西存在,那是涵盖着柏林万千气象和生活方式所展示的东西——那不仅仅是情绪化的因素。没有对困惑的清晰醒悟,没有人能长久的生活在柏林。相反,另有某种东西,面对柏林生活的艰辛而欣然接受,继续为使柏林更美好骄人而贡献出努力,使之与围墙所隔绝起来的别处——极权主义治下,阻碍人们释放人类能力与精神的那些地方——迥然相异,还有某种精神,能对这座城市发出强有力的声音,对它的未来,也对自由,肯定地说:“是的!” 一句话,我认为,能让你们守护在柏林的,是爱。

爱,既博大深远,又是持久执著的。

或许,这才是一切的根基,是东德和西德本质上最大的差异。极权主义国家制造出的是落后,因为它是在对人们的精神施暴,它遏制人类创造、欢乐和信仰的冲动。即便从爱与信仰的象征性事物上,极权主义者所看到的也都是对自己的冒犯。

数年以前,在东德开始重建自己教堂的时候,他们建立起一个世俗的构造物:亚历山大广场上的电视塔。

实际上从那时起,官方就开始纠正他们所认为的那座电视塔的一个主要缺陷,他们把塔顶上的玻璃半球体涂上油漆和各种遮蔽物。然而,直到今天,只要阳光照射到那个玻璃半球——那个可以俯瞰整个柏林的玻璃半球,反射出的强光都会形成一个耀眼的十字!

这里,在柏林,正如这个城市本身,爱的象征,信仰的象征,是不可征服的。

正如我不久前从Reichstag——德国统一的化身——眺望时见到的情形:我注意到人们在柏林墙上喷涂的文字,很可能是年轻的德国人书写上去的:“这座大墙终将倒塌。信念终将成为现实。”

是的,纵贯欧洲的这座大墙必将倒塌,因为它支撑不了信念;它支撑不了真理,它支撑不了自由。

另外,在我的话结束之前,我还要再说一点。我来访后遇到一些游行示威者,抗议我的到访,对我提出质疑。对他们,那些抗议者,我只想说一点。我想知道,他们是否能扪心自问,假如拥有那种他们此刻执意追求的政府,是否还有人能做他们此刻正在做的事情。

感谢大家。上帝保佑你们所有的人。谢谢!

Tear Down This Wall
June 12, 1987

This speech by President Ronald Reagan to the people of West Berlin contains one of the most memorable lines spoken during his presidency. The Berlin Wall, referred to by the President, was built by Communists in August 1961 to keep Germans from escaping Communist-dominated East Berlin into Democratic West Berlin. The twelve-foot concrete wall extended for a hundred miles, surrounding West Berlin, and included electrified fences and guard posts. The wall stood as a stark symbol of the decades-old Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union in which the two politically opposed superpowers continually wrestled for dominance, stopping just short of actual warfare.

Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world at the City Hall. Well, since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn, to Berlin. And today I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin, we American presidents, because it's our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom. But I must confess, we're drawn here by other things as well: by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation; by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten; most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer Paul Lincke understood something about American presidents. You see, like so many presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin. [I still have a suitcase in Berlin.]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same--still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

President von Weizsacker has said, "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed." Today I say: As long as the gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.

In this season of spring in 1945, the people of Berlin emerged from their air-raid shelters to find devastation. Thousands of miles away, the people of the United States reached out to help. And in 1947 Secretary of State--as you've been told--George Marshall announced the creation of what would become known as the Marshall Plan. Speaking precisely 40 years ago this month, he said: "Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. I was struck by the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: "The Marshall Plan is helping here to strengthen the free world." A strong, free world in the West, that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium--virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth; the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty--that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

Where four decades ago there was rubble, today in West Berlin there is the greatest industrial output of any city in Germany--busy office blocks, fine homes and apartments, proud avenues, and the spreading lawns of parkland. Where a city's culture seemed to have been destroyed, today there are two great universities, orchestras and an opera, countless theaters, and museums. Where there was want, today there's abundance--food, clothing, automobiles--the wonderful goods of the Ku'damm. From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on earth. The Soviets may have had other plans. But my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn't count on--Berliner Herz, Berliner Humor, ja, und Berliner Schnauze. [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner Schnauze.]

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you." But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind--too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent-- and I pledge to you my country's efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.

Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles, capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counter-deployment unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution; namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counter-deployment, there were difficult days--days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city--and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then-- I invite those who protest today--to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. And because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva, we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative--research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend; on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago, freedom was encircled, Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines, in South and Central America, democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations, a technological revolution is taking place--a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete.

Today thus represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safe, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start. Free people of Berlin: Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin, which is permitted by the 1971 agreement.

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world.

To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.

With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control or other issues that call for international cooperation.
There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I'm certain, will do the same. And it's my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.

One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you may have noted that the Republic of Korea--South Korea--has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West? In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You've done so in spite of threats--the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there's a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there's something deeper, something that involves Berlin's whole look and feel and way of life--not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence that refuses to release human energies or aspirations. Something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says yes to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin is love--love both profound and abiding.
Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere--that sphere that towers over all Berlin--the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality." Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I've been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they're doing again.

Thank you and God bless you all.

President Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987


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