Ronald Reagan

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

On the 12th of June, 1987, Ronald Reagan made one of the most famous speeches of his presidency. The American leader had arrived in Berlin on that same day and had found a city divided by much more than just concrete and barbed wire, for over 25 years.

The wall demarcated two opposite sides of the capital, becoming a symbol for the Cold War’s climate, very much alive in the world and polarised by the United States of America and the U.R.S.S..

From the mid-80s, policies like glasnost and perestroika foresaw a further opening from Mikhail Gorbachev compared to its predecessors. The Soviet leader maintained a cordial relationship with Reagan, who did not shy away from calling him directly, in a phrase as famous as controversial: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Reagan – and the rest of the world – would have to wait two more years to watch the wall fall. On the 9th of November, 1989, Germany was one once again.