German Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend an event at the Brandenburg Gate where a 15km stretch of glowing white balloons marking the stretch of the wall will be released to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of its disappearance. Concerts, speeches and other events are being held and there is a spirit of revelry in Berlin.
The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop people fleeing from East Germany to the West but the wall that was created at 1 a.m. on August 13 was described as an “anti-fascist protective wall” by Communist leader Walter Ulbricht.
Thousands tried to escape taking advantage of Berlin’s sewer and subway network. The Berlin Wall Foundation states that at least 138 people, including several children, lost their lives trying to escape. One of the last to die was 20-year-old Chris Gueffroy just nine months before the fall of the wall.