• By: OLM Staff

Message from the German Ambassador to Canada on an Exciting Initiative to Mark the Fall of the Berlin Wall

By Ambassador Werner Wnendt, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a wall constructed to divide Germany – a tangible symbol of oppression of a communist regime, separating its people from a land of opportunity and regrowth.

In its construction, the wall created both physical and symbolic barriers. Those living to the wall’s east were oppressed with little opportunity. Those on the west looked to rebuild their lives following the war, and spur economic viability. The wall divided not only people but opportunity and hope by stark concrete. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has therefore become a symbol of freedom throughout the world.

Today, we all face barriers in our lives regardless of age, culture or religious affiliation. A child may be bullied in the school yard, a single mother may struggle to feed her children, an immigrant may struggle with his or her transition, or a family member may be plagued with illness.

Regardless of the barrier, one truth remains: surmounting a barrier alone is nearly impossible. Without the support of others, our barriers can quickly become walls.

However, with love, kindness and compassion from others, we can chip away at these barriers, bringing light to our lives and helping us surmount our personal obstacles.

To symbolize this need for compassion and unity, the German Embassy will be creating a unique sculpture exhibit during Winterlude 2014. We will be sculpting replicas of United Buddy Bears – an international symbol of collaboration among nations of what can be achieved when we work together toward a better tomorrow.

While these sculptures will melt with the warmer weather, our hope is that their impact will endure. Throughout the year, the German Embassy will hold events to foster collaboration and break down barriers.

We look forward to celebrating this message of collaboration with the Ottawa community at our various cultural events.

Together, we can break down our walls, stand united, and create a better tomorrow.

United Buddy Bears photo courtesy of Beatrice Murch