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A celebration of human rights: the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thirty years on, it can be hard to remember how a totalitarian regime came to an end without, as one speaker says, turning the Cold War into a hot war. This video explains some of the background to how an imminent nuclear holocaust was turned into an international success for peace.

Too many students at today’s universities are unaware of our very recent past, as the free nations joyfully saw the end of the repression of billions of people forced to live under communism.

Here, people on both sides of the Berlin Wall — the greatest symbol of the failure of communism — talk about what life was like before freedom came.

After World War 2, communism spread in southeast Asia, in Africa and in the Middle East. Many thought this was the dogma of the future. Yet suddenly they had to build a wall to keep people in. So it marked a turning point in the early 1960s where people felt that the professed dynamism of communism is a sham any any system, any ideology, that has to build a wall to keep people in is inherently bankrupt.

There’s many gems and fascinating points in this video but I’ll pick out one. I pick this one because in today’s increasingly polarised societies, I think it is an important point to consider for us all:

….if you show respect for something that deserves respect, when you criticize something else it carries more weight.

George Shultz

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