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Saturday, November 8, 1997 Published at 17:57 GMT



Despatches: Europe
Caroline Wyatt
From Berlin

Berlin is to lay the foundation stone for the city's first official memorial to the victims of the Cold War. However, eight years after the fall of the Berlin wall the city is still divided, not least over how much of the wall should be kept standing for posterity. Caroline Wyatt reports from Berlin:

"It's taken eight years for Berliners to agree on a suitable memorial to the victims of the Cold War, in particular the hundreds of east Germans who died trying to cross to freedom in the west. However, in the haste to rid the city of the wall in 1989 the authorities demolished and sold most of it. Now campaigners in Berlin want it back, complaining that Ronald Regan and the Pope both own larger pieces of the wall than the city itself. Berlin's government argues that the planned museum on the former east-west border should be reminder enough of the city's divided past. The only problem is that Berlin has been in severe financial difficulty since unification, spending millions on modernising the east and reconnecting roads and railways once split by the wall. So despite a large contribution from Bonn, there are still doubts as to whether Berlin can afford the kind of memorial its citizens would like."





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