Wednesday, November 10, 1999 Published at 12:23 GMT
Berlin anniversary ends with a bang
Prost: Berliners ignore the rain to celebrate by the Brandenburg Gate
Celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall reached their climax on Tuesday night with a concert and a firework display.
The German rock group The Scorpions then played their song "Wind of Change" which had been the unofficial anthem of freedom sung and hummed by many who crossed from east to west a decade ago.
Most of the estimated 30,000 revellers left by midnight, but some stayed on at street parties that continued throughout the night.
Hal Sturm, a 44-year-old bus driver from the western part of the city, said he was there because the fall of the Wall "was a gift" that he wanted to celebrate.
Claudia Quast, a 28-year-old student from Dresden in eastern Germany, said she had come to "live a little what it was like" on 9 November 1989.
Earlier during the commemorations wreaths were laid at the Wall in memory of hundreds of victims gunned down trying to escape to the West.
Other leading guests at the events included Nato Secretary-General George Robertson, Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek and his predecessor at the time of unification, Krzysztof Skubiszewski.
Mr Gorbachev said: "We had the privilege of trusting each other."
Mr Gorbachev said that although Germany still faced problems caused by reunification, he was confident they would be resolved.
But the former Russian president also questioned the treatment of the last East German leader, Egon Krenz, whose appeal on manslaughter charges was quashed on Monday.
He said that he could not understand why Germans were putting on trial leaders who had decided to make the world transparent.
Then-US President Bush told the parliament how he had watched the Wall being brought down, but said the US reaction had to be restrained.
"In many ways, no situation was as dicey as the one we all faced on 9 November 1989."
Former Chancellor Kohl said: "Ten years ago pictures from here went around the world.
"Those pictures were made possible by the courage of people to stand up against a dictatorship.
"They showed the majority of people in Germany had not accepted the separation of our nation."
"It was brought down by tears of joy, and the process of unity was irreversible."
He added that the events on 9 November 1989 had been a second chance for Germany and Europe to achieve peace and democracy.
The speeches also remembered another German anniversary - Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938, when Nazis destroyed more than 250 synagogues throughout Germany.
The East German Government called it an anti-fascist protection barrier. For the West it was the most chilling symbol of the Cold War.
Searchlights, watch-towers and automatically-triggered guns were all set up on the Wall, with the intention of keeping East Berliners in East Germany.
With the end of communism came problems - most notably unemployment and the increased cost of living.
Those problems were underlined on Tuesday when Germany's latest unemployment figures were announced.
The figure for former East Germany is 16.9%, compared to 8.2% in the west and 9.9% nationally.
Now she says: "I am 47 years old and I think I have no chance for a job, this is what I see for the future."
Others, often younger East Germans who cannot remember or did not know the restrictions of the communist past, are more confident.
Marco Kaehlke crossed the Berlin Wall to dance in a West German nightclub. Now he says: "I live in West Germany, I run my own company, and I live my dream."