Berliners Sent Trump A Piece Of The Berlin Wall: 'No Wall Lasts Forever'

U.S. President Donald Trump received a rather poignant and not-so-subtle gift from German protesters on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall — a fragment of the wall itself, meant to serve as a reminder that "no wall lasts forever."

According to Newsweek, the Berlin-based pro-democracy nonprofit group Die Offene Gesellschaft (The Open Society) is responsible for the gift, which they delivered to the White House as part of their "Wall Against Walls" initiative.

The 2.7-ton concrete slab is one of the last remaining sections of the wall that divided East and West Berlin for 28 years.

Unsplash | Melissa Van Gogh

First erected in 1961, the more than 87-mile long barrier was meant to prevent the escape and subsequent defection of East Berliners (communist) into West Berlin (democratic).

An estimated 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall during the Cold War.

Of those 5,000, somewhere between 100 and 200 were killed in the process.

In 1989, the East German government lifted travel restrictions and announced that the wall between East and West Berlin was now open.

Demolition of the wall began in 1990 and finished in 1991.

November 9, 2019 marks 30 years since the Berlin Wall "fell."

The Open Society felt it was the perfect time to send Trump a message:

"On the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are sending one of the last sections of the infamous wall to Washington, D.C. as a letter to President Trump..." the group wrote on their official website.

"...To remind him of America’s commitment to build a world without walls."

"Wall against Walls is an initiative of the citizens of Berlin to express their gratitude for 30 years of freedom."

Signed by "Citizens of Berlin", the wall fragment features a painted message to Trump regarding his border wall between the Southern U.S. states and Mexico.


"We would like to give you one of the last pieces of the failed Berlin Wall to commemorate the United States' dedication to building a world without walls," the slab reads.

"Germany is united again and in Berlin, only a few scattered pieces remind us that no wall lasts forever."

Twitter | @CarlNasman

The 'gift's' travel was paid for with private donations. The piece of wall was first attained from a dealer in Berlin, then flown to New York, then finally arrived in Washington D.C. via truck.

The fragment was reportedly delivered to the White House on November 9, but was subsequently refused.

As of right now, the German group is looking for willing recipients to accept the concrete slab instead.

In an interview with Quartz, The Open Society's managing director Philip Husemann said that while the wall was a gift to Trump, "It belongs to the people."

He said that if Trump accepted the slab, then it would be his. But gifts to a sitting president "always belong to the United States."

Twitter | @@TheWallvsWalls

"So we hope this letter will end up in a public place where all citizens can read it," Husemann continued.

"After all, the main message is a big 'thank you' from the Berliners to the United States and its people."

Unsplash | Melissa Van Gogh

Is it just me, or does it seem kind of odd to be playing a literal game of "Hot Potato" with a piece of the Berlin Wall? How did we get to this point as a society? What choices led us here?

Those are rhetorical questions--we pretty much know the answers.

As of right now, it's unclear where exactly the wall fragment will ultimately end up.

h/t: Newsweek, Quartz

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