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Agh. No mention of Helmut Kohl? Whatever die Birne's faults, he was the Western head of government who grasped the possibility of reunification and drove it through. Bush, Thatcher, and Mitterand were all substantially more conservative.

uh excuse me thatcher and mitterand being conservative I can agree with..
Bush SENIOR was a great proponent of reunification.

I really think, this Reagan speech was something nice to do, but it did not lead to the fall of the Soviet Empire as a direct consequence, and (you may correct me on that one) it did not cost Reagan anything to request Gorbachev to tear down the wall.
The people in the countries mentioned really risked their lives overthrowing an oppressive regime, and especially Gorbachev himself had a lot of courage to enforce his policy against wide parts of his own party.

The thing I'm really grateful for is, that the US, other than both the UK and France, were not opposed to German reunification. Because without their support Germany couldn't have done it against those two countries resistancet. But it's a tricky thing to thank them for exactly this, with regards to EU-intern relations, which might be a reason, why Schroeder didn't do it. Yes, I'm not kidding.

Best regards

Well David and Ray, I think this is concrete evidence of the "Belittling and Diminishing America's Role." Three sources with lengthy entries and not a single mention of even a small American contribution.

Now come on, how many examples do the doubters need? I'm no expert, but didn't the American military presence during the cold war in the very least create an atmosphere that made reunification possible?

If the military were not present, I guess reunification would have still taken place--although probably the other way around. Say hello to the reunified DDR.

Maybe Gerhard Schröder is aware that the German national holiday also is the Day of the Open Mosque.

As for the reunification, I hope that Korea takes this one lesson from this day for its own reunification: Before you start negotiating, hold free elections in the totalitarian part.

reagan, unperson.
its just as simple as that!;)!!
most germans or europeans don't get to or are not allowed to learn what we do in the US. The most important thing one needs to know about the european stalemate was that until the M1 tank came on-line with its barrel stabilization system which finally overcame the tactical advantage the soviets had and the last tactical advantage the soviets had. Bombs and bombers, nukes and satellites are all great in bubblehead think tanks but the reality of armed conflict is that if you can't hold ground or stop an invasion of 10,000 tanks youre toast.
Ronald Reagan will NEVER be forgiven by the Euroleft for freeing all those people and not kowtowing to their idiocy. It makes his legacy all the more stirring.
Of course we still need places like medienkritik to hear it!!
R.I.P. Ron!!

It's mainly Reagan's merit.
But my moronic countrymen will never get it and thank Gorbatschov.

I of course agree with "No Reagon, No Wiedervereinigung". His support of the Polisch resistance started the collapse of the UdSSR.

However I also would make the point that under Willie Brandt, Deutschland came awfully close to accepting Wiedervereinigung under Ulbricht oder Honegger. I am convinced that Stasi agent was Brandt's connection to the East, not a Stasi plant.

I am hoping Germany will finally turn it's back on 7 years Socialism.

That's okay. Germany may not now be able to acknowledge what the US did for them - 45 years standing resolute in Germany, toe to toe against the USSR and never blinking, not once suggesting that we take ourselves out and abandon all of Europe to the Russians. We know what we did and we don't need the Orwellian German revision of history to know that we did the right and honorable thing.

Germany only makes itself look silly now by denying that without the American military presence in Germany, the Soviets would have crushed the East German rebellion. All those Eastern European countries who rebelled and ran the Russians out know who to thank. They love us and we love 'em back.

We don't want thanks and gratitude but a little civility would be nice when we visit Germany.

I'd like to speak to the Germans here. I know the Americans already know this history. We lost Americans in the Berlin Airlift. How much did we have to gain from the Berlin Airlift? Would it have made a big difference to the USA if Berlin were lost? The cost was far greater than the prize! I am saying Berlin...not West Germany.

We lost our young men in the effort to keep West Berlin free. Have you noticed that the Berlin wall is several feet away from the line that marks East from West? All the better to shoot someone and if they fall in that no man's zone the USA could do nothing to help! That loss included at least one US officer.
We spent not only the blood of our sons, but also the gold of our nation. We, we the people of the USA, spent many, many dollars to protect you.

To understand our soldiers is to understand that it nearly killed them to see a person in the no man's zone who was hurt and they could not go and help! To understand the US soldier is to know the Candy bomber dropped chocolate, for no other reason than he saw children who he wanted to help.
You will say but "what about" and you will talk about torture and prisons. I will tell you there was no group more angry about the abuse than the US soldier. These few jerks dragged the regular Army names in the mud and they are NOT happy about it!

From the proud mother of a soldier who was in Iraq from day one and as the daughter of a father who was involved in the Berlin Airlift, and a host mother who has 12 German host children (most now adults) I wish we could exchange ideas and views without the hate.

There are still many Germans who know well what role the US played in the reunification and who appreciate it. However, the continuous Leftist manipulation of history does unfortunately influence a large part of the population. Having said that, there isn't too much one can do about people who willingly choose to ignore truth. It's very sad to see how far blind ideology goes (again!), but it is a new reality to which normal people have to adjust.

As I have said before, I do not see a lack of courage or honor in the German people. I just see little knowledge of what is actually going on in the big wide world. If all I saw on the news was what they get, I would believe as they do! (Spending weeks with only BBC and CNN and the German news would make you hate the USA as well. Oh, I have done that! Watched the news that is! UGLY!!!) You are VERY correct about the lies spread!
But, I refuse to give up on the truth. David and Ray are fighting the good fight. Hopefully, more people will read their blog!

Hmmmm? I wonder why GWBush was treated like a rock-star when he visited some of those ex-east-block countries? Hmmmm? (ponder....ponder)

They haven't forgotten.

James, you do have a valid point. The problem is my fellow germans don't know it, because things that make Bush look favorable don't show up in the media here. Nobody's aware of them. Germans think Bush only gets booed and protested outside of the US.

A democracy can only function if its citizens are informed. Given the information Germans have received about global politics and diplomacy as demonstrated by the WoT and Iraq, as well as the recent German election, I'd say that Germany is slipping into failure as a democracy. Sure we can blame a biased media system in Germany, but this doesn't change the fact that most Germans seem to prefer an alternative reality rather than the one we must all live in.
Reminds me of the 1930s.

--it did not cost Reagan anything to request Gorbachev to tear down the wall.--

Ronnie put it in his speech, Colin Powell took it out, Ronnie put it back in.

Sure it helped directly - Ronnie drew the line in the sand, the peoples of the East heard him, they knew he was paying attention and we were still there. Chicago wasn't the 2nd largest Polish city for nothing.

The problem is my fellow germans don't know it, because things that make Bush look favorable don't show up in the media here. Nobody's aware of them.

Well, this is somewhat anecdotal, but I did find 3 people, in a company of 400+ employees near Frankfurt, who had heard of Bush's visit to the east (believe me, I don't hide my political opinions). The problem is that they had this knowledge only in the context of the attempted attack on Bush.

Did they at least give credit to Lech Walesa and Pope John Paul II?

Reagan in 1982:

The strength of the Solidarity movement in Poland demonstrates the truth told in an underground joke in the Soviet Union. It is that the Soviet Union would remain a one-party nation even if an opposition party were permitted because everyone would join the opposition party....

In an ironic sense Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis, a crisis where the demands of the economic order are conflicting directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West but in the home of Marxism- Leninism, the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens. It also is in deep economic difficulty. The rate of growth in the national product has been steadily declining since the fifties and is less than half of what it was then.

The US furnished the economic and military power; the two Polish giants provided the moral force.

I am confused.

You mean it was not the french and the spd?

'At the celebration of the unification of Germany, Chancellor Helmut Kohl said, "The soil under the Brandenburg Gate is Hungarian soil."'
(source, The Independent Newspaper, UK).

If you don't understand this quote search on the internet for descriptions of the events of (and leading up to) the Pan-European Picnic, 19th August 1989.

@Tom Penn -
I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation for this illogical alliance between the god-hating Left and islamofascist terrorist freaks.

"The enemey of my enemy is my friend." Sure, you could add all sorts of bits about romanticising the underdog, ignorance, self-aggrandizing multiculturalism and whatnot, but that's all window dressing; it's really no more sophisticated than that.

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