Tear down this wall!

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Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate
The full speech audio

"Tear down this wall!" was the challenge made by United States President Ronald Reagan to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin Wall. The speech was made at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987. It was made to honor the 750th anniversary of Berlin.[1]

Among the spectators were West German president Richard von Weizsäcker, Chancellor Helmut Kohl and First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Reagan challenged Gorbachev, who was then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to tear the wall down as a symbol of Gorbachev's desire to increase freedom between Eastern and Western Germany.

We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev...Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

The speech is thought to be one of the greatest speeches by Reagan or by any other president.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Reagan's 'tear down this wall' speech turns 20 - USATODAY.com". USA Today. June 12, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-19.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to 1987 Ronald Reagan speech in Berlin at Wikimedia Commons