What is June 12, 1987

: June 12, 1987: Ronald Reagan's historic Wall speech at the Brandenburg Gate

Twelve words were enough 30 years ago to inextricably link Ronald Reagan to the Brandenburg Gate. On June 12, 1987 he stood on the west side, the symbolic building in the back, behind thick armored glass panes and called out the sentence: “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! ”(“ Open this gate, tear down this wall! ”).

It then took almost two and a half years until the Brandenburg Gate was no longer part of the Berlin Wall, but what it should be when it was inaugurated in 1793: the entrance and exit gate and the end of the Unter den Linden boulevard.

Reagan's advisors knew about the symbolism of the place. It was later learned that John Kornblum, who would later become the US ambassador to Berlin, had proposed to an advance command of the US president that he hold his speech in front of the closed Brandenburg Gate.

The effect was as desired. First the 40,000 listeners on the Straße des 17. Juni cheered Reagan's words, it was only a little later that Western politics understood the power of his speech.

As early as May 1, 1959 - the wall wasn't there yet, but the political division was already real - Willy Brandt gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate that, in retrospect, sounds like a template for Reagan. “The day will come when the Brandenburg Gate is no longer on the border,” he shouted at the time.

“On the borderline that runs right through our families, that tears our people apart, that divides our Berlin. Until that day comes, we ask, we call, we demand: Open the gate, put an end to the unnatural division! "

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything that is important or that occurs to some people should happen at the Brandenburg Gate, if possible: celebrations, demonstrations, political acts. Reunification was also celebrated here - where else.

Barack Obama also selected the location as a presidential candidate in the summer of 2008 in order to achieve the greatest possible effect with his Berlin speech. At that time the Chancellor did not allow him, he had to switch to the Goldelse.

Nevertheless, the Berliners celebrated him and his message of hope on the Strasse des 17. Juni. As president, he was allowed to speak at the gate in 2013 and emphasized the difference to Reagan: “I'm proud to be on the east side.” At the church convention at the end of May 2017, he appeared again at the historic location - in a panel discussion Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The representative pillar structure was given national significance early on in history. Napoleon marched with all pomp at the head of his troops on October 27, 1809 through the Brandenburg Gate into the conquered Berlin, later emperors paraded through after winning wars.

The people conquered the place in the days and nights after November 9, 1989. Hundreds of thousands celebrated a high point of national happiness here when the German soccer world champions paid their respects to the fans on July 15, 2014.