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Tourists follow what remains of the Berlin Wall, preserved for history. John MACDOUGALL / AFP

The Polish, Czech, Slovak and Hungarian Presidents will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in the German capital, the office of the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced on Friday.

Together, these five heads of state will commemorate on 9 November the fall of the Berlin Wall " and the contribution of Central European states to the peaceful revolution " in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) under communist rule, announced the German presidency in a statement.

Their journey will begin with a wreath laying at a ceremony in memory of some 140 people killed as they attempted to cross the wall, which encircled the west of Berlin for a distance of approximately 165 kilometers between 1961 and 1989. They will then gather around a sculpture erected in 2017 in memory of the help given by neighboring states to East Germans.

The West Rush

In the last years of the GDR, thousands of people fled their totalitarian regime to take refuge in the West, in the Federal Republic of Germany, their journey through Hungary and the former Czechoslovakia.

At the same time, the Polish movement born of the Solidarity trade union led the democratic revolt in the bloc of Eastern countries.

In parallel with the street demonstrations that have proliferated throughout the GDR, mass departures precipitated the fall of the Berlin Wall in the evening of 9 November 1989 - a first step that would bring German reunification the following year.

(with AFP)