Ronald Reagan- Remarks at the Brandenberg Gate

canowonu's version from 2016-04-24 01:47


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. Yet, I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin 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
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."


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... From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again
ranks as one of the greatest on Earth.


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 or
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


And now - now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom.
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!


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 (quote): "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. Thank you and God bless you all. Thank you.