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Should Barack Obama be in Berlin to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall?

November 9, 2009

There is one world leader who is not coming to Berlin to mark the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall -U.S. President Barack Obama. Much to the chagrin of the German government that spent months trying to get him, Obama won’t be here. It’s turned into a bit of a political controversy in the United States.

But it’s also intriguing to Germans and German media. Why isn’t Obama here? Berlin loves (most) American presidents — going back to John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. Is there more than meets the eye to Obama’s decision not to come?

Obama, of course, wanted to speak at the Brandenburg Gate in July 2008, when he was only the Democratic candidate. Merkel intervened to prevent that from happening — he ended up giving the speech a few km away at the Victory Column. Tomorrow, Obama could have spoken at the Brandenburg Gate.

Obama did come back to Berlin after that speech in front of 200,000 spectators as presidential candidate (www.reuters.com) last year — but only as a wax figure at Madame Tussauds (photo) The life-like creation was included at Madame Tussauds in Berlin, just a few blocks east of the Brandenburg Gate, in January.

So what do you think? Should Obama have come to Berlin?

Take part in our poll and look for results and more information on our Berlin Wall live blog: http://blogs.reuters.com/global/2009/11/04/the-berlin-wall-20/

Comments

Taking down a wall by force is certainly not peaceful means to achieve reunification. Remember Obama is the current year winner of Nobel peace award.

Posted by Barski | Report as abusive
 

i wonder how we can bring down the wall of “us vs. them” in the heartland of hillary(aka obama).

i would like to surrender to this most powerful woman in this world, for freedom. can i?

Posted by cjohnthan | Report as abusive
 

Obama is a disgrace. There is no excuse for not commemorating the fall of the cold war and communism in Germany. It is VERY telling where his agenda is, and with America’s integral part in this history, WE should be THERE.

Losing respect for this counterfeit president everyday.

Posted by max | Report as abusive
 

Unfortunately, I fully expected him to snub this celebration of Democracy over communism.
When you snub the Dalai Lama and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom one of our greatest allies this was a easy decision for him. Wrong but easy.

 

Or president was quick to do his “I hate the USA” apology tour, and to bring the Olympics to Chicago (more fraud please), but he is unwilling to praise the achievements of President Reagan who command to “tear down this wall” were heeded.
For the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country.

Posted by cj | Report as abusive
 

Of course he should be there. But Obama is keen on communism so I guess I can see why he won’t be there.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive
 

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