Berlin, 9 November 1999 (RFE/RL) - World leaders today marked the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by honoring Mikhail Gorbachev for giving East Germans the courage to overrun the main symbol of the Cold War. At ceremonies today in the Berlin Reichstag, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said East Berliners "trusted" the former Soviet leader and that the peaceful revolution in East Germany would not have been possible without Gorbachev's role. Former U.S. President George Bush praised both Gorbachev and Kohl, who was the chancellor of West Germany when the Wall fell. Bush told the German parliament that he was worried at the time that the Soviet military might forcibly react against protestors if the West had boasted or acted arrogantly.
Later today, Berliners celebrate the anniversary with concerts and parties around the city. A celebration at the Brandenburg gate is expected to draw 100,000 people.