Europe won the Cold War. Not long after the Berlin Wall fell a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, the U.S. squandered its peace dividend in an attempt to maintain global dominance, and Europe quietly became more prosperous.
NATO was critical to the shaping of the "new Europe" two decades earlier after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Similar and new challenges have emerged where once again NATO may be a defining factor in the future of Europe as well as the Euro-Atlantic family.
Marina Grasse is a biologist who was involved in the independent peace movement in East Germany in the 1980s. I met her in 1990 (when she was Marina Beyer) to talk about the Pankow Peace Circle and how it was adapting to the new circumstances in a democratic East Germany.
On a recent visit to Europe I was most struck by the latent and open anti-American sentiments that are contaminating the political elites across the continent. This is especially strange in a year when we commemorate the end of the Cold War.
For most Americans, the fall of the Berlin Wall remains the iconic image of the changes that took place in East-Central Europe 25 years ago. Just look at how the U.S. media has been covering the anniversary of 1989.
I stared at the pieces of the Wall. Twenty-five marks for a small piece of cement with remnants of spray-paint on it. I wanted to celebrate freedom and I wanted to have a little piece of something that had meant so much to me.
The cost of that economic and political reunification was shouldered almost entirely by West Germans while the benefits flowed mostly to the East Germans. Economist Rudiger Frank has a different view of what happened in those years.
Though Berlin is one of Europe's most diverse and progressive cities, it doesn't take long for a foreign visitor to start to feel like they're partaking in a form of gloom tourism. Should we visit the Stasi Museum or the Holocaust Memorial? The Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue or the Reichstag?
In the current issues the U.S. is facing, walls of injustice and fear have been erected. Those who are free, and those who know they need to be free, stand at these walls that we are convinced must come down.
The European Union demonstrates a way forward: eliminating militarized borders, and expanding the safety perimeter to include everyone. Yes, everyone -- holding criminals, including dictators and terrorists, accountable to the law.
World-renowned photographer Richard Avedon's visual account of the fall of the Berlin wall is not only considered as the high point of his career but also as one of the strongest photo-journalistic moments of all time.
Though the Wende, or "Change," freed the East German people from over forty years of Stalinist dictatorship, remembering the forgotten side of German unification -- when right-wing hooligans waged thousands of attacks on defenseless foreigners -- provides a cautionary tale of failed leadership.
Bloodshed in Europe and the Middle East against the backdrop of a breakdown in the dialogue between major powers is of enormous concern. The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it's already begun.
Many historians trace the seeds of the momentous events of November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, as being planted back in August 1975 when 35 nations, including the United States, unanimously approved the Helsinki Accords.