“As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind.” — U.S. President Ronald Reagan (Address at the Brandenburg Gate, Ju
Thirty-two years ago today, U.S. President Ronald Reagan delivered a stirring address while speaking at the 750th anniversary of the founding of Berlin, challenging Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to end the arms race driving the Cold War. Standing in front of the concrete wall dividing East Germany and West Germany since 1961, President Reagan ended his speech with this prophetic statement: “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!” Three years later, the Berlin Wall — a barrier both physical and ideological — would officially be demolished, uniting Germany for the first time in three decades.