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The City of Berlin, on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall

Prince of Asturias Award for Concord 2009

“The Prince of Asturias Award is considered the Nobel Prize of the Spanish-speaking world. This award is an extraordinary honor for Berlin, and one that the German capital is very pleased to accept on behalf of the entire country. The award is another expression of international recognition of the peaceful revolution of 1989, which had such a positive impact on the world. It pays special tribute to Berlin’s achievement in overcoming the division of the city, and thereby the division of Europe, peacefully and without bloodshed. Since the fall of the Wall, we have made it our goal to overcome the consequences of this division. Receiving the award in this category shows not least that the world is aware of the progress we are making towards what Willy Brandt had hoped for, both for our city and our country: that what belongs together is growing together.

Berlin thanks to the jury for its decision, of which the people of Berlin can be very proud. Berlin has been put on a par with other winners of this award, such as Ingrid Betancourt, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, and the children’s relief organization UNICEF. This award pays tribute to all the Berliners who helped to overcome the division and its consequences in 1989 and in the two decades that followed. However, I also see this tribute to our city as an obligation to do even more in the future. Today Berlin is a city of change, an open and tolerant metropolis. But openness and tolerance must be actively and constantly strengthened and defended”.

Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin
Berlin, 10th September 2009

“I am moved and deeply pleased to learn that the city of Berlin, having received the support of so many eminent personalities, will receive the Principe de Asturias Award for Concord 2009. As a former governing mayor and federal president at the time of the peaceful revolution in 1989, I witness with profound gratitude how much Berlin and the fall of the wall have become universal symbols of freedom and of human possibilities. The Principe de Asturias Award will contribute to spreading this inspiration further ".

Richard von Weizsäcker, Former Federal President
Berlin, 10th September 2009

“It is with special joy that we have heard the news about the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord for Berlin, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall this year.

Those who have suffered the division of the Wall know very well the meaning of this historic event, which was the culmination of a heroic fight by a community who wanted to be free and who then built on that freedom an example of Concord.”

Jan Figel, Commissioner of the European Union for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.
Brussels, 14th September 2009

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