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Thursday, September 25, 2014

25 years after the Berlin Wall was torn down Juan Carlos González Leiva pays homage to the victims

"It's always the small people who change things. It's never the politicians or the big guys. I mean, who pulled down the Berlin wall? It was all the people in the streets. The specialists didn't have a clue the day before." - Luc Besson
Juan Carlos González Leiva at the Berlin Wall in September 2014
In West Germany the Berlin Wall was known as the "death strip." Estimates place the total number of Germans killed at greater than 200. In Eastern Germany the communist authorities called it the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart" (German: Antifaschistischer Schutzwall). The Wall began to be built by the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) on August 13, 1961 and was finally torn down on November 9, 1989.

Standing at The Berlin Wall Memorial before a huge remnant of the Wall along with a memorial to the victims listening to their names and how they died is a powerful experience and highly recommended. Juan Carlos González Leiva, a Cuban human rights defender, found the experience profoundly moving. More information on the Berlin Wall is available here.

Juan Carlos González Leiva at memorial for victims killed trying to cross the Wall