30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall
This November 9th, 2019, marks 30 years of the most transcendent political and diplomatic victory of the administration of Republican President Ronald Reagan: The demolition of the hated Berlin Wall in Germany, a historic event that hastened the dismantling and end of communist rule in the former Soviet Union (USSR). The world still remembers President Reagan’s firm and blunt demand to his Soviet counterpart: “President Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
President Reagan’s determined intervention in the 1980s gave inspiration and confidence to millions of human beings who rose up in protests across Eastern Europe demanding an end to the communist dictatorship. With spikes and hammers the German people tore down the wall and hundreds of thousands of people were able to cross over the other side without fear of being shot. Thousands of protesters marched to the offices of the Stasi, the regime’s political police, to burn their files and free political prisoners.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ended more than 40 years of a totalitarian dictatorship that imprisoned Eastern European nations under the rule of the USSR. At the end of World War II, nations such as Poland, Hungary Romania, Yugoslav and Czechoslovakia went from living Adolf Hitler’s Nazi horror nightmare to the “red terror” of communist dictator Joseph Stalin. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill would sum up this tragedy in his famous 1946 speech by saying, “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.” That was the beginning of the so-called Cold War.
The iron curtain denounced by Churchill materialized with cement and brick in 1961. The communist regime of East Germany built a wall, to prevent citizens in the eastern zone, plagued by misery and repression, from emigrating or fleeing to the free Western zone. The wall was reinforced with barbed wire, attack dogs and towers with machine guns. The Berlin Wall has come to symbolize the true repressive face of communism. While in democratic nations walls and borders are made to prevent people from entering illegally, in communist countries the walls are made to prevent people from leaving the country; they are real prison states.
President Donald Trump is now successfully pursuing Ronald Reagan’s own diplomatic policy of “peace through strength” to bring America back to its place as champion and free world-flagging against dictators who are still swarming around the world. With fairer trade deals, President Trump has stopped China’s trade rape against our nation and has stopped Kim Jong-un’s war and nuclear aspirations in North Korea. And yet the most notable symbol of the inspiring role that the United States is playing in the fight against communism are the American flags raised by the brave protesters in the streets of Hong Kong against the dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party.