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Germany Remembers the Berlin Airlift

1948 - 1949
(Published 12 May 1989)

Forty years ago, on May 12, 1949, freedom triumphed in Berlin.

On that day, the courageous and spectacular airlift of the U.S. Air Force, together with French and British Forces, and the perserverance of the Berliners finally broke the eleven-month stranglehold of the Soviet blockade. Every thirty seconds, a plane landed in West-Berlin carrying all necessary goods and materials, thus keeping the city free and alive.

On that day, great determination, the commitment to freedom, and solidarity prevailed over brutal repression. Thus German-American friendship was truly sealed.

We, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German people, remember those who lost their lives and reaffirm our gratitude to the American people.

The airlift will not be forgotten. It will always be a token of German-American friendship and partnership for the cause of freedom, human rights, and democracy.

Helmut Kohl
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany

Source: An advertisement in The Wall Street Journal, 12 May 1989.

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