推倒这堵墙

推倒这堵墙
1987.6.12 里根@柏林墙演讲
里根(1911-1994)(1981-1988为美国第四十任总统)

非常感谢。

科尔总理、迪普根市长、女士们、先生们:

二十四年前,约翰·F·肯尼迪总统访问了柏林,在市政厅里面对这个城市以及全世界的人民发表了讲话。在那之后,有两位总统访问了柏林。今天,我自己,也第二次来到了你们的城市。

我们这些美国总统来到柏林,是因为我们有责任在这里为自由呼吁。但是我也必须承认,我们之所以来到这里,还有其他的原因:这个城市历史悠久,比我的国家还要年长500岁;格吕讷瓦尔德(Grunewald)和蒂尔加滕(Tiergarten)优美瑰丽,引人入胜;而最主要的原因是,我被你们的勇气和决心所打动。作曲家保罗·林克,也许同我们这些美国总统有着共鸣。你们瞧,就像我之前的许多总统,我今天来到这里,是因为我无论走到哪里,无论我干什么:Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin(我还有个箱子在柏林)。

我们今天这个集会,正在面向整个西欧和北美进行广播。我知道,在东面,人们也在看着、听着。对那些东欧的倾听者,我有一言相赠:我虽然没有和你们站在一起,但我也在对你们讲话,正如我是在对我面前的这些人们讲话一样。我同你们、你们在西面的同胞一样,都有一个坚定的、不可变更的信念:Es gibt nur ein Berlin(只有一个柏林)。

在我身后,耸立着一道墙,这堵墙环绕着这个城市的自由之地,它本身也只是分裂了整个欧洲大陆的庞大壁垒的一部分。从波罗的海向南,这个壁垒横裂德国,处处扎满铁丝网,浇筑混凝土,军犬巡逻不休,警戒塔密布。再向南,那里可能没有看得见的墙,但是那里仍然有着武装警卫和检查站——仍然限制着人们的出行自由,仍然把极权主义国家的意志强加于每一个普通男女之上。

然而,在这里,在柏林,这堵墙把这一点凸显的最为明显。正是在这里,新闻图片和电视屏幕都在全世界人们的心上烙刻着这道横贯你们的城市、分裂整个大陆的伤痕。每一个站在勃兰登堡门前的人都是德国人,同自己的骨肉同胞分离。每一个人都是柏林人,被迫俯视一道伤痕。

冯·魏茨泽克总统曾经说过:“只要勃兰登堡门还关闭着,德国问题就将存在。”今天我要说:只要这道门还关闭着,只要这堵墙带来的疤痕仍然被允许存在,那么长存的就不仅仅只是德国问题,还有整个人类的自由问题。我到这里来不是为了哀悼,因为我在柏林找到了一个希望,即使在这堵墙的阴影之下,仍然有着胜利的消息。

在1945年春季,当柏林人民步出隐蔽所的时候,他们发现的是一片狼藉。数千英里之外,美国人民伸出了援手。在1947年,正如你们知道的那样,美国国务卿乔治·马歇尔宣布了那个将来会称之为马歇尔计划的援助方案。在四十年前的今天,他说:“我们的政策不针对任何国家、任何主义,我们针对的是饥饿、贫穷、绝望和混乱。”

稍前时候,在德国国会大厦,我参观了一个纪念马歇尔计划四十周年的展览,在一个曾被熔毁的、正在得到重建的建筑物上,我看到了一个标语,这个标语深深的打动了我。我知道,我这一代的柏林人都还记得,在西柏林,曾经遍布着这样的标语。这个标语是:“为加强自由世界,马歇尔计划在这里伸出援手。”一个强大的、自由的西方世界,这个梦想变成了现实。日本从废墟中崛起成为一个经济巨人,意大利、法兰西、比利时,几乎每一个西欧国家都见证了政治上和经济上的复兴,欧共体也得以诞生。

在西德,在柏林,发生了经济奇迹,the Wirtschaftswunder(德国奇迹)。阿登纳、艾哈德、鲁伊特等领导人深知自由在实践上的重要意义,只有当新闻记者被赋予言论自由之时真相才会浮现,只有农民和商人能够享受到经济自由的时候,繁荣才会到来。德国领导人削减关税,扩大自由贸易,降低税率。仅仅在1950年到1960年十年间,西德和柏林的生活水准就成倍翻升。

在西柏林,四十年前还是一片废墟的地方,现在是德国产出最大的工业区,到处是繁忙的办公区、优良的住宅和公寓、热闹的大街,和不断蔓延的公园草坪。在当年似乎是文化荒漠的地方,现在有两所最好的大学、乐团和一家歌剧院,无数的剧场和博物馆。在过去是匮乏,在现在是极大丰富——食物、衣物、汽车——在库达姆大街上应有尽有。在废墟上,从毁灭处,你们这些柏林人在自由中重建了地球上最伟大的城市之一。苏联人或许有其他的计划,但是我的朋友们,有些东西是苏联人永远指望不上的,那就是柏林人的心灵、柏林人的幽默,和柏林人的刚毛浓眉(Schnauze)。

在20世纪50年代,赫鲁晓夫曾预言:“我们将埋葬你们”。但是在今天的西方,我们看到的是一片前所未有的繁荣和安宁。而在共产主义世界,我们看见了失败,看见了技术上的落后,看见了健康的倒退,看见了即使连最起码的东西——食品——都极度匮乏的情形!即使到了今天,苏联人仍然不能喂饱自己。在四十年之后的今天,在整个世界面前,耸立着一个伟大和必然的结论:自由导致繁荣,自由用礼让和宽容代替了各国之间古老的仇恨。自由是胜利者!

现在苏联人自己,可能在某种程度上,也明白了自由的重要性。我们经常从莫斯科听到一些消息,一项改革和开放的新政策已经出台,一些政治犯已经得到释放,某些外国新闻广播不再被屏蔽,一些经济企业已经被允许拥有更多的自主权。

这些举动是苏联发生巨大转变的开始吗?或者他们仅仅是做出姿态,想要在西方掀起错误的希望,又或者仅仅是企图在不更改苏联体制的前提下修修补补?我们欢迎变化和开放 ,因为我们相信自由和安全相伴,人类自由的进步只会加强世界的和平。这里有一件事是苏联人可以做出来而不至于遭到误解的,这件事将里程碑式的促进人类的自由和和平事业。

戈尔巴乔夫总书记,如果你真的在寻求和平,如果你真的在寻求苏联和东欧的繁荣昌盛,如果你真的在寻求自由化,那么,到这扇门前来吧。戈尔巴乔夫先生,把这扇门打开!戈尔巴乔夫先生,把这堵墙拆掉!

我理解战争的恐惧、分离的痛苦折磨着这片大陆,我向你们保证,我的国家会帮助克服这些障碍,为了万无一失,我们自由世界必须抵抗苏联的扩张,因此我们必须保持牢不可破的防御力量。然而我们也在寻求和平,因此我们也必须做出努力来削减双方的军备。

从十年之前开始,苏联人带来了一种新的致命威胁,挑战着西方联盟,他们部署了数百枚更新式、更致命的SS-20核导弹,足以摧毁欧洲每一个都市。西方联盟则以相应的部署以牙还牙,除非苏联人同意进行谈判找到一个更好的解决方式,也就是双方都共同消除这样的武器,否则局面就只好这么僵持下来。

这么多日子以来,那些苏联人一直拒绝进行诚实的谈判。在我们一方,随着联盟准备进行相应部署,也出现了一些困难的时光,比方说我在1982年访问这座城市的时候有许多人起来抗议,比方说苏联人稍后离开了谈判桌。

但尽管有这些困难,我们的联盟仍然坚持住了,我邀请那时抗议的那些人,我邀请今天抗议的这些人,来注意到这样一个事实,那就是,因为我们的强硬,苏联人最后又回到了谈判桌上。因为我们的强硬,今天我们能做到的,不仅仅只是期望限制军备的增长,而且还包括这样一种可能,那就是将一整类核武器彻底的从地球上废除掉。

当我讲话时,北约的部长们正在冰岛会晤,对这一建议的进展状况进行讨论。在日内瓦会谈中,我们也提出了要对进攻性战略武器进行大的削减。西方联盟已经提出了许多内容深广的提议,来减少发生常规战争的危险,以及彻底禁绝化学武器。

当我们裁减这些军备的时候,我也向你们保证,我们将保持能力,以阻止苏联在任何层次上发动侵略。我们正在同许多盟友合作对“战略防御构想”计划进行研究,不是将威慑构基于威胁报复之上,而是着眼于真正的进行防御。简言之,这套防御体系将不瞄准平民,而是保护他们。通过这种方式,欧洲和全世界的安全将得以增强。

但是我们必须牢记一个至关重要的事实:东方和西方彼此确信对方,是因为我们手里都有武装,我们有武装,又是因为我们彼此不信任。使东西方意见不同的不是武器本身,而是对自由的不同理解。在肯尼迪总统24年前在市政厅演讲时,自由被包围,柏林在围困中。然而今天,尽管敌人对这个城市施加了那么多压力,柏林仍然安全的沐立在自由之光下,自由本身也在改变着整个世界。

在菲律宾、在南美和中美洲,民主已经获得重生。在整个太平洋地区,自由市场正在制造一个又一个经济增长的奇迹。在工业化国家,一次技术革命正在发生,这次技术革命的标志是计算机和电信方面的迅速发展。

在欧洲,只有一个国家和它控制的那些卫星国拒绝加入自由阵营,然而在这个经济成倍增长的时代中,在这个信息与革新的时代中,苏联面临着一个选择:它必须进行根本的改变,否则它将变得过时。

因此,今天就代表着希望。我们西方准备好与东方进行合作,促进真正的开放,打破分离人们的藩篱,建立一个安全和自由的世界。我想,没有哪个地方比柏林,这个连接东西方人民的地方,更适合作为一个起点。

柏林的自由人民们,美国今天会像过去一样,坚定的遵守并执行1971年的四大国协议。让我们借这个机会,本市的750周年纪念日,迎接一个新的时代,建设一个更加充实、更加富裕的柏林。让我们维护并发展联邦德国与西柏林之间的联系,这是1971年协议所允许的。

并且我将邀请戈尔巴乔夫先生:让我们一起为东西柏林的人们多做点工作吧,使它们靠的更紧一点,以便整个柏林的全部居民都能享受到生活在这个世界上最伟大的都市之一所带的来的乐趣。

要进一步向整个欧洲、东方和西方开放柏林,我们就要扩展进入这个城市的重要空中通道,使通向柏林的商业航空服务更便利、更舒适,也更经济。我们期待着有一天西柏林可以成为整个中欧地区的主要航空枢纽之一。

同我们的法国和英国同伴一起,美国准备在柏林召开各种国际会议。对柏林这个城市来说,召开联合国会议,或者有关人权、军备控制等等需要国际合作的议题的国际会议,是再合适也不过。

要为将来带来希望,没有比点亮青年心灵更好的方法。我们将极为荣幸的赞助(东西柏林的)夏季青年交流、各类文化活动,以及为东柏林青年举办的其他活动。我们法国和英国的朋友,我敢肯定,也将这样做。我也希望东柏林当局能够赞助西柏林青年的访问活动。

我心中最后一个建议是:运动是快乐与高贵之源,您可能会注意到,南韩已经允许1988年夏季奥运会的某些赛事在北方举行。各种国际体育比赛也可以在这个城市的两个部分举行。假如在将来的某一年,奥林匹克运动会能够在柏林——东柏林与西柏林——举行,那么还有什么更好的方式,比这,更能向世界展示柏林这个城市的开放呢?

在这40年中,正如我所说,你们柏林人建立了一个伟大的城市。尽管存在着许多威胁——苏联所强加的关口和封锁,你们还是做到了。尽管有这堵墙所隐喻着的挑战,这个城市仍然蓬勃发展。是什么使你们坚持下来?当然有许多原因,比方说你们的毅力,你们抵抗的勇气。但是我相信有些原因更加深邃,涉及到的是柏林整体的观感和生活方式,而不仅仅只是情操。

没有人能够在柏林生活长久还能满心幻想的,他们看到了柏林生活的困难,但选择接受之,尽管被囚禁着人类活力和希望的极权主义制度所包围,他们仍然继续建设着这个美好的、令人自豪的城市。那是一种强有力的声音,这种声音对这座城市,对未来,对自由大声说“是”。简言之,我会把这种东西称之为“爱”——深刻而持久的爱。

也许这就是问题的根源,这就是东西方之间最根本的区别。极权主义的世界生产落后,因为它侵犯这种精神,阻碍了人类去创造、去享受、去感悟的冲动。极权主义的世界,甚至觉得爱和宗教的符号是一种侮辱。

几年前,当东德开始重建自己的教堂之前,他们建设了一个世俗建筑物:亚历山大广场电视塔。自那以后,东德当局一直在努力纠正(在他们眼中)该塔的一个重大缺陷,往其顶部的玻璃球上倾倒各种涂料和化学物品。然而,只到今天,每当阳光照射到这些玻璃上,阳光还是照射出一个十字架的摸样。在这里,在柏林,爱的符号,礼拜的符号,不会受到压制。

当我之前从国会大厦——这个德国统一的化身——往外望的时候,我发现了一串喷漆在柏林墙上的话,这可能是一个年轻的柏林人写下来的,“这堵墙终将倒下,梦想终将成为现实。”是的,整个欧洲,这堵墙终将倒下,因为,它经不起良知的考验,它经不起真理的追问,它经不起自由的期望!

我想,在结束发言前,还说一句话。我已经知道——我也被问过了——我来到这里的时候,有人举行了一些示威活动。我想对那些示威者说一件事,我不知道他们是否想到,如果他们确实有了他们所希望建立的那种政府,就没有人能够做他们现在在做的那些事情了。

谢谢大家,上帝保佑你们。

 

Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate

West Berlin, Germany

June 12, 1987

President Ronald Reagon:

Thank you. Thank you, very much.

Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, and speaking to the people of this city and the world at the city hall. Well since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn to Berlin. And today, I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin, we American Presidents, because it’s our duty to speak in this place of freedom. But I must confess, we’re drawn here by other things as well; by the feeling of history in this city — more than 500 years older than our own nation; by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten; most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer, Paul Linke, understood something about American Presidents. You see, like so many Presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: “Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin” [I still have a suitcase in Berlin.]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, I extend my warmest greetings and the good will of the American people. To those listening in East Berlin, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

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.

President Von Weizsäcker has said, “The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.” Well today — today I say: 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.

Yet, I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a 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 — as you’ve been told — 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.”

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. I was struck by a sign — the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: “The Marshall Plan is helping here to strengthen the free world.” A strong, free world in the West — that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium — virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth; the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty — that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders — the German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

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 — the wonderful goods of the Kudamm.¹ From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on earth. Now the Soviets may have had other plans. But my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn’t count on: Berliner Herz, Berliner Humor, ja, und Berliner Schnauze. [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner Schnauze.²]

In the 1950s — In the 1950s Khrushchev predicted: “We will bury you.”

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 of 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 victor.

And now — now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty — the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.

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 — Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent, and I pledge to you my country’s efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So, we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.

Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counter-deployment (unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution) — namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counter-deployment, there were difficult days, days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city; and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then — I invite those who protest today — to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. Because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva, we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative — research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend; on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago, freedom was encircled; Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines, in South and Central America, democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations, a technological revolution is taking place, a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete.

Today, thus, represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start.

Free people of Berlin: Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin, which is permitted by the 1971 agreement.

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world.

To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.

With — With our French — With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control, or other issues that call for international cooperation.

There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I’m certain, will do the same. And it’s my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.

One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you may have noted that the Republic of Korea — South Korea — has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West.

In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You’ve done so in spite of threats — the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there’s a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there’s something deeper, something that involves Berlin’s whole look and feel and way of life — not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something, instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence, that refuses to release human energies or aspirations, something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says “yes” to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin — is “love.”

Love both profound and abiding.

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront.

Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw: treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere, that sphere that towers over all Berlin, the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

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.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I’ve been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they’re doing again.

Thank you and God bless you all. Thank you.