President Duda to attend Berlin Wall anniversary
President Andrzej Duda will take part in events marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany, on Saturday, at the invitation of the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier .
Apart from Duda, the presidents of the Visegrad (V4) Group countries - Czech Republic's Milos Zeman, Slovakia's Zuzana Caputova and Hungary's Janos Ader will attend the Berlin Wall anniversary events.
During the main ceremony, held at the memorial site of German division on Bernauer Strasse, extending along the former Berlin Wall, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay tribute to people who died trying to escape to the West. Later in the evening, a multimedia show will be staged in front of the Brandenburg Gate where Steinmeier is expected to give a speech.
Then the V4 presidents will lay a wreath at the monument commemorating the Visegrad Group countries' merits in overcoming communism. Later, working breakfast talks are planned at the German President's residence in Bellevue Castle.
Duda's top aide Krzysztof Szczerski said that the November 9, 1989 events have symbolic significance for the Central European region and the entire continent. "The fall of the Berlin Wall was a complement to the process of overthrowing communism, which began in Poland thanks to Poland's (anti-communist movement - PAP) Solidarity," he said.
The presidential minister added that in June 1989 Poles were the first nation in this part of Europe to stand up for freedom and democracy, by supporting opposition candidates in partly free elections, and they were soon followed by the citizens of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and other countries of the bloc.
According to Szczerski, the events of 1989 ended the artificial division of Europe into two blocks and initiated Poland's path to membership of the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. "Today it is worth remembering that without the achievements of our nations Europe would have not become a reunited part of the free world," he said.