Berlin is a city rich in culture and history – sometimes dramatic, sometimes happy. The relationship between history and the creative pulse of the city makes it unique for visitors and residents alike. 2014 was a milestone year in that history. Among the major historical events celebrated, the most important was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
25 years ago, on November 9, 1989, the East German regime opened the Berlin Wall, an historic event that reunited previously separated families, friends and neighbors. The abrupt removal of all former border control rejoined a city and nation. Among the many exhibitions which took place commemorating the anniversary, the foremost highlight was a unique exposition conceived from an idea of the artists and brothers Christopher and Marc Bauder. A new temporary Wall was built along the former 15 km course (9.3 miles) using 8,000 illuminated white helium balloons through the city!
For the entire weekend of November 9, this temporary Wall made the former divide of the city tangible again and allowed both visitors and residents to reflect on the effects upon the city of Berlin and Germany, the long fought Cold War and ultimately, the peaceful revolution by thousands of people which led to the collapse of the Wall and German reunification. For every 150 meter (164 yards) along the illuminated balloon path, texts and historical photos were displayed highlighting notable historical facts of events which occurred along the border, taking visitors on an emotional and poignant journey through the once divided city.
The exhibit culminated on November 9, the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Wall, with the release of all 8,000 helium filled balloons into the evening sky while the Staatskapelle Berlin played Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, “Ode to Joy”. Before being released, each balloon was affixed with a personal message, story or wish from the citizens of Berlin and people from all over the world.
A short video highlight of the events can be found on the Facebook page of Berlin - The Place to Be.