Taiwan unveils piece of the Berlin Wall

Director General of the German Institute Taipei Birgitt Ory, left, Chairman of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Wang Jin-pyng, third left, and gues

Director General of the German Institute Taipei Birgitt Ory, left, Chairman of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Wang Jin-pyng, third left, and gues

A piece of the Berlin Wall went up in the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy's garden in Taipei yesterday, 20 years after it was torn down in Germany.
The piece was a present from the county chief of Oberhavel, Karl-Heinz Schroeter, to Chen Jin-huang, a former chairman of the 228 Memorial Foundation. The German politician offered to donate a 2.5 ton segment of the wall in appreciation of the foundation's mission to promote democracy and the protection of human rights, Chen said.
After returning from his visit to Oberhavel last April, Chen contacted the chairman of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who agreed to cooperate with the bringing over of a piece of the Berlin Wall to Taipei.
Wang said "the unveiling ceremony that the wall symbolized the pursuit of democracy, freedom and human rights."
Vice Foreign Minister Shen Lyu-shun related how he had visited Berlin just one month before the wall fell, and how, viewing the elaborate security mechanisms, he could not imagine that it would be gone so soon, and the whole East German regime with it.
"This shows the victory of the soft power of democracy and freedom," Shen said.
The unveiling ceremony in Taipei was also attended by former East German human rights activist Joern Mothes, who in his keynote speech described the process by which the Wall was brought down peacefully by the people after sacrifices made by many for democracy and freedom.
The piece of the Berlin Wall will later be moved from its current place, next to works by renowned Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming, to a publicly accessible location at the foundation's new headquarters, Wang said.
The combination of the wall with Ju's sculptures symbolized his hope that the people of Taiwan would be blessed with harmony as they continued to develop their own democracy, he said.