Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. . . . Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar. . . . As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. . . .
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.
Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
—Ronald Reagan, address at the Brandenburg Gate, June 12, 1987
On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan gave this historic speech at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate in which he implored Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan gave this historic speech at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate in which he implored Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." (NARA)
The Allies agreed that Germany should never again have the opportunity to destroy European peace as it had in the two world wars. A principal aim of the Allies was to prevent the resurgence of a powerful and aggressive Germany. As a first step toward demilitarizing, denazifying, and democratizing Germany, the Allies established an international military tribunal in August 1945 to jointly try individuals considered responsible for the outbreak of the war and for crimes committed by the Hitler. Nuremberg, the city where the most elaborate political rallies of the Hitler regime had been staged, was chosen as the location for the trials, which began in November 1945.
On trial were twenty-two men seen as principally responsible for the National Socialist regime, its administration, and the direction of the German armed forces, the Wehrmacht. Among the defendants accused of conspiracy, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes were Hermann Goering, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Rudolf Hess, and Albert Speer. Although many Germans considered the accusation of conspiracy to be on questionable legal grounds, the accusers were successful in unveiling the background of developments that had led to the outbreak of World War II, as well as the extent of the atrocities committed in the name of the Hitler regime. Twelve of the accused were sentenced to death, seven received prison sentences, and three were acquitted. Source: Germany: A Country Study.