By Lulzim Basha
Leader of the Democratic Party of Albania
Mayor of Tirana
The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago was an epic event for Europe and Albania. 9:10 pm on the November 9, 1989 marked the moments when the first pieces of this unprecedented barbarism of the 20th century known as the Berlin Wall, started to fall and along with them the genesis, history, the terrible consequences for millions of eastern-Germans and eastern-Europeans consisting of division, persecution, bloodshed, that this barbaric instrument of communist totalitarianism had caused.
We’re lucky that today, after 25 years, we join not only Germany which commemorates this big moment of human rights and liberties, but the entire Europe.
The Wall of Berlin has been and has remained the symbol of the Iron Curtain, of the cruel division, of inequality in fortune and lives of people. It was the wall that divided Germany in two parts, the East, which was not free and the West, free and democratic. It was a three meter high wall with armed guards, watch towers, barbed wires like in prisons, built on the border where the big prison of the communist regimes of Eastern Europe started, in order not to allow the escape of their citizens toward the free world. It was a true wall that was there like a curse washed in blood, washed in the sufferings of many unfortunate ones who in an effort to escape, were stopped by the bullets of death.
I am not the first one and I will not be the last one to say that this tragedy of Germany, of Europe, of Albania and the entire world, which lasted many years, is not easy to be understood in spite of its tragic dimensions, especially by generations who were children at that time or who were born after the fall of the wall. But, the recognition of this past, the recognition of the cruel communist past, without being taken a hostage by it in any form, the recognition of mechanisms and practices that are produced by dictatorship regimes, is and must be part of education as free citizens of the young boys and girls and of all Albanians.
These tragedies of tyranny and insanity took place in our continent as close as 25 years ago. The wall has existed. We have a piece of it here in Tirana, symbolically, because we have been part of the gigantic quarantine of slavery and oppression.
But, all of Albanians know very well that the wall of communist Albania has been the highest one, the longest and the bloodiest one of the entire Europe, if not of the entire world. Therefore, for us, November 9, 1989, the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall, has the taste of a ‘prophecy’ and of a blessing. Our age of freedom and democracy is closely linked to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism in Europe.
Municipality of Tirana and Albanian opposition are the only ones to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is a meaningful forgetfulness and discrediting for today’s majority of Albanians. Meaningful for those who decide to spend millions of Albanian people’s money on made up celebrations, but they do not remember the big day of freedom of Albania and the entire Europe. Discrediting because it discredits their sub conscience of successors of dictatorship.
But, this forgetfulness is disgraceful and condemnable because it comes at a moment when with the support of the majority, there are efforts to rehabilitate the most cruel and barbarian regime that has ever existed with the portraits of the dictator in the hands of several people. A regime that brought great misery and turned Albanians into the last slaves of European civilization.
Is this forgetfulness an accident? This is a question that we address today to ourselves and that we must address those, who with their silence, forgetfulness and by ignoring this symbolic date that is celebrated by the entire Europe, unveil their aims to reintroduce in Albania another wall that divides Albanians between those who enjoy equality in front of the law and those who do not enjoy it. Between those who enjoy legal security and those who do not enjoy it. Between those who have the chance to enjoy their wealth and those whose honest work, live savings and wealth is destroyed unlawfully.
On Sunday, at the start of the commemoration of this big day for Germany and the entire Europe, chancellor Merkel recalled that as a former resident of Eastern Germany, that state was an unfair state. The state of injustice in front of the state of justice, is the dilemma that this majority is creating with its arbitrary behavior against the Albanian society.
Therefore, we must remember and not forget for any moment that freedom prevailed over tyranny and its insanity due to the forces and values of freedom and free people in their souls and hearts. Let us remember and not forget that freedom is a gift, but it’s preserved and strengthened with constant efforts and a daily struggle.
Let us remember and stand in our feet against the new walls that unlawfulness, arbitrariness, arrogance, corruption and crime backed by the government along with ignoring the voice of the people and their impoverishment, build in society.
Besides being a historical event to be remembered, the fall of the Berlin Wall is an example and a big lesson for the fall of all the walls that are build and prevent progress or which demand the change of the unchangeable course of democracy in Albania and free Albanians. With this knowledge, let us also celebrate like all Europeans this big event of last century and led us pledge once again here, at the entrance of the notorious Albanian Bloc, no more walls, no more tyranny!
*The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line