U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is in Germany today to mark the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that symbolizes the collapse of communism throughout Europe, a process in which Poland played a leading role. To mark this historic event, the Atlantic Council hosted the “Freedom’s Challenge: A Gala Banquet and Awards Ceremony” yesterday in Berlin, which was attended by Lech Walesa on behalf of the Polish people.  Secretary Clinton attended the gala as keynote speaker.  View the Secretary’s Travel Diary Blog on visiting Berlin (in English).

Also view the Department of State’s International Information Program’s Publication: The Berlin Wall: 20 Years Later (in English), which highlights events that led to the collapse of communism in Poland and throughout Central and Eastern Europe. 

 “I Will Remember That Day All My Life” by Adam Michnik

Excerpt: “I wrote it was a great holiday: In the perennial struggle between man and barbed wire, today man triumphed and the barbed wire was defeated.”

“Those Were The Days, My Friend” by Anna Husarska

Excerpt: “November 9, 1989, is the date most potently associated with the end of the unjust oppression of half of Europe. But the Wall began to crack back in 1980 when the Polish trade union Solidarity was created at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk…”

Legacy of 1989 Must Be Defended by Janusz Bugajski

Excerpt:  “Although Solidarity was temporarily stifled and driven underground, its mass membership and farsighted leadership demonstrated that the days of Soviet-imposed communism were numbered.”