Partner Statements in alphabetical order by company

Statement: Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO airberlin

Freedom needs wings: airberlin is the official international airline partner of 25 Years Fall of the Wall

airberlin bears the capital city’s name, bringing its spirit to some 800 daily flights all over the world. In light of this, the decision to support this year’s anniversary celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall as an international airline partner was a very easy one. The history of our airline is closely tied to the history of Berlin and events that took place around the 9th of November. The German reunification and our necessary re-founding in 1991 as a German airline carrier was fundamental to our development into Germany’s second-largest airline. As an airline, we have taken many citizens of the former GDR to faraway destinations that were inaccessible to them just a few decades ago: with us, they can live and experience their freedom. Bearing this in mind, our motto for the anniversary celebration is ‘Freedom Needs Wings’.   

We have come up with something unique to celebrate this extraordinary day in history: on the evening of 8th November, we are offering three sightseeing flights over Berlin. At a flying altitude of just 1000 metres, guests on our special flights will be treated to a spectacular view of the 15-kilometre LICHTGRENZE, an installation made of 8,000 glowing balloons. Yet our presence is not just in the air; we will also be celebrating on the ground, making 35 of our employees balloon patrons with spots along the East Side Gallery. The 35 balloons are being held in honour of airberlin’s own 35th anniversary.

The world be looking to Berlin on 9th November, and will remember what took place 25 years ago. airberlin is bringing a small part of the world to the capital: our flights will be carrying around 34,000 travellers to Berlin between the 7th and 9th of November – more than any other airline. As an official international airline partner, we are delighted to be part of these extraordinary festivities celebrating the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall’.

Statement: Thomas Pfützenreuter, Managing Director of AIR LIQUIDE Germany GmbH

AIR LIQUIDE – with the support of this company, the LICHTGRENZE balloons will rise into the air on November 9th

This is a big day for Air Liquide. We are part of a French corporation with a global presence, but our home is here in Germany! The Fall of the Berlin Wall was also a definite milestone in the development of our activities, because we very quickly established ourselves in the new, eastern German states.
The world leader in gases for industry, health and environmental protection employs 4,500 people in Germany alone. These people not only work here, they also live in this country – with their families and friends. In light of this, we very definitely feel like a German company, with a close connection to this country and its history.

What moved us to this commitment?
Industrial and medical gases and services are our specialty. That was true 25 years ago, and is no different today. As leaders in our field, we are proud to bring our products and know-how to this highly symbolic project.

We also want to show that gases can tell stories. Our customers use our products in a variety of applications in order to operate in a more environmentally friendly or economically viable way. In this way, our invisible helpers can be an asset for the world of today and tomorrow. And not only that, they can also inspire. That was one of the motivations for becoming involved with the LICHTGRENZE. Invisible molecules allow this epic event, an event that is so historical for Ger-many, become visible: this is simply a fascinating idea, and we are delighted to support it.

This support has already generated a lot of awareness within our company. A specially-founded project team is taking care of all the logistical and safety issues – and of course we will also make sure that our customers notice our commitment. What do we want for the future? That we will be allowed to support another, equally spectacular event 25 years from now!

Statement: Berlin Partners for Business and Technology ‘25 Years Fall of the Berlin Wall – 25 Stories’

25 Years Fall of the Berlin Wall: be Berlin presents business stories
 
It has been 25 years since the Berlin Wall fell: Berlin is a dynamic, innovative and growing metropolis and is considered ‘the place to be’ for young and creative talents. Many Berlin-based companies made a significant contribution to the city’s economic development, and these companies will be given a very special platform to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Under the motto ‘25 Years Fall of the Berlin Wall – 25 Stories’, the capital city campaign be Berlin asked the entrepreneurs, founders, and shapers of Berlin’s economy to tell their own, very personal history of the company. We received over 180 responses, from which an editorial team selected 25 stories. These 25 stories will be presented to the public starting October 16th 2014 – 25 days before the day of the Fall of the Wall anniversary – in a citywide countdown at www.sei.berlin.de/25

Statement: Dr. Johannes Evers, Chairman of the Managing Board for Berliner Sparkasse

The Berliner Sparkasse – deeply rooted in the city, its people and their destinies

The day the Berlin Wall fell and the time afterwards remain unforgettable to many of our employees. Even on the morning after the border opened, Sparkasse branches in the Western boroughs were one of the first points of contact for East Germans. The days that followed saw queues of up to 10,000 people. In Berlin, 80 per cent of the applications for ‘welcome money’ were processed by Sparkasse branches. It was a tremendous task for the staff, who put in many overtime hours. Nevertheless, many of our employees have very fond memories of this turbulent time and its very special spirit of optimism. Even afterwards, there was a lot to do: the monetary union and conversion of accounts had to be prepared, along with the legal consolidation of the two institutions. After more than 40 years of separation, Berliner Sparkasse savings bank has been a unified whole since 1990.

Today it is completely normal that we are able to work together under one roof and move freely in a city without walls. This anniversary is a good opportunity make it clear – especially to the younger generation – that this was not always something to take for granted.

For nearly 200 years, our roots have been deeply entwined with the city and its fate. Every second Berliner is our client. Our branches are located in all of the various districts. Our main location is in the centre of Berlin, near Alexanderplatz, and the headquarters of our Foundation is right next to the Brandenburg Gate. So we did not have to think twice when asked to participate in the LICHTGRENZE. Together with the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (Deutschen Sparkassen- und Giroverband) and DekaBank, Berliner Sparkasse was delighted to serve as a partner for the project.

The Fall of the Wall had a decisive impact on our history. Although a quarter of a century has passed since then, many of our employees still have very vivid personal memories. We asked them to write down their experiences and published these stories in our company magazine. We also put out a call to customers and employees of the Berliner Sparkasse through various media, inviting them to become balloon patrons of LICHTGRENZE, and to write down their personal thoughts and wishes. And of course, the fall of the Berlin Wall also features prominently in the online video showing our company history. 

Dr. Johannes Evers, Chairman of the Managing Board for Berliner Sparkasse: ‘For me, Berlin stands for freedom like no other city, but also for creativity and tolerance. I hope that Berlin re-mains an open city where everyone has a fair chance. And in which everyone feels welcome and comfortable, be it as a tourist, a new Berliner or a long-time Berlin veteran.’

Statement: Facebook

Facebook celebrates 25 Years Fall of the Wall in Berlin
Facebook supports the ‘25 Years Fall of the Wall’ project as an exclusive online partner

For many, there is hardly a historic event that embodies the idea of freedom more palpably than the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989; today, a former symbol of the division stands for freedom and understanding. Without a doubt, the fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the most important historical events of our time. It is an event that paved the way for a united Europe. The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago has greatly impacted not only our lives here in Germany, but those far beyond.

As a communication platform where people can exchange ideas on various topics, Facebook is a place where people come together from all over the world. Facebook is a place that offers people the chance to express their views. In doing so, Facebook provides the basis for social dialogue and encourages people to voice their opinions. This responsibility – to offer people all over the world a platform for sharing their ideas – is one that we take extremely seriously.

Because of this, we are particularly proud to be partners in this project celebrating 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and that we can allow people from all over the world to participate in this year’s celebrations. Please visit us at: www.fallofthewall25.com

Statement: Dr. Marion Bleß, Board of Trustees for LOTTO Stiftung Berlin

25 Years Fall of the Wall, and what the anniversary means to LOTTO Stiftung Berlin

The anniversary is a cause of great joy, perhaps a bit more so for LOTTO Berlin and LOTTO Stiftung Berlin. We have always been tied to the city and its people in a very special way. With our receiving offices throughout the city and the employees who work there, we are like the heart rate monitor of this ever-changing metropolis. We are a Berlin institution that truly every-one in this city is familiar with. We are proud of this, but with it comes a great deal of responsibility – for Berlin and Berliners. We understood this responsibility before the fall of the Berlin Wall and especially afterwards. After the first cooperation talks between the East German lottery commission and LOTTO Berlin in January 1990, LOTTO Berlin became a state-owned lottery company active all over the city in August 1990, following a municipal council ruling. Since 1990, the LOTTO Stiftung has contributed a total 1.7 billion euros to projects in Berlin, and in doing so has put many things into motion for the city, sometimes visibly and sometimes behind the scenes.

Five years ago, the LOTTO Stiftung gave financial support to events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I am delighted that we were asked to support the events this year as well. These are precisely the moments where this foundation assumes the responsibility I mentioned earlier. We are looking forward to the light installation along the former intercity border. This is sure to be a very memorable experience – particularly for us, as the LOTTO Stiftung was able to contribute over 1.9 million euros to the financing of the anniversary celebrations and hence the light installation as well. On this point, I would like to thank the many Berlin LOTTO players whose contributions have allowed us to give this support in the first place.

The LOTTO Stiftung was able to provide financial support to many different projects in the past – in the area of art, for example, but also sports, education and social services. Of course, I hope that we can continue to do so in the interest of all Berliners. And yet, this tremendous anniversary is also an opportunity to look at the bigger picture: what we managed to do in Germany and especially in Berlin is truly an historic achievement. I am constantly being reminded of this fact, particularly given the many trouble spots elsewhere in the world. My sincere hope is that, on the occasion of the anniversary celebrations, Berlin will send a strong signal of peace and unity out into the world.

Statement: Gabriele Hässig, Head of Company Communication Procter & Gamble D-A-C-H

Duracell lights the 8,000 Balloons in the LICHTGRENZE
     
Procter & Gamble has been active in Germany for over 50 years and has very strong, vibrant roots here. In this respect, the history of Germany is also closely tied to our own history.
With over 10,000 employees, Germany is the company’s second largest location in the world.
As a global company, we saw the fall of the wall in Germany 25 years ago as a symbol of freedom and a peaceful coexistence. The fall of the Berlin Wall changed many things in the day-to-day lives of people in Germany, but it also sent a strong message that resonated throughout the world.

Bearing this in mind, Duracell is supporting the LICHTGRENZE project as an important symbol of the peaceful connecting of people without borders. As a ‘sponsor of light’ for the LICHTGRENZE, high-performance Duracell batteries will illuminate a total 8,000 balloons between the 7th and 9th of November. The light in these balloons is there to remind us that life in a unified community and being able to live out passions together – without divisive borders – is not something to be taken for granted.

We are excited about the opportunity to use the strengths of the Duracell brand for a good cause.
 
Duracell will also encourage its own employees to become ‘balloon patrons’ for a section of the wall, and by doing so, actively participate in the project. Every area of the company will be kept up-to-date on the LICHTGRENZE project using our internal communication channels, and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook will be used to inform people and help raise awareness for the project.

The goals of the LICHTGRENZE project stand in direct connection to our own values. As a company are constantly working and researching to improve the daily lives of people today and those of future generations. Duracell connects people in everyday life, especially if they are on the road listening to music, for example, or playing music with one another.

Our wish for the future is that the LICHTGRENZE sends a bright and luminous, enduring signal for humanity and freedom in the world.

(c) rbb/Hanna Lippmann

Statement: Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting Corporation (rbb)

The anniversary’s multi-faceted media partner
“We want to bring back this sense of boundlessness, to help people feel the exhilaration of those days. And we want to join our viewers, Internet users and listeners in celebrating this special night and the Peaceful Revolution that took place 25 years ago,” says Dagmar Reim, Director of the Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting Corporation (rbb).

The Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting Corporation (rbb) will provide full coverage of the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall. The rbb television broadcaster, rbb radio programmes and rbb information online will be airing in-depth live reports, documentaries and features focusing on the anniversary and related events.

Titled ‘Borderless – 25 hours Fall of the Berlin Wall’, the rbb television broadcaster is presenting a unique media experience on 9th and 10th November 2014, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The station’s moderators will be reporting live on location along the former course of the Wall, with in-depth documentaries providing additional background information. For 25 hours straight!

Besides sites of global historical significance like Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, Bornholmer Strasse, the programme will focus on the mysterious Glienicke Bridge (Glienicker Brücke), as well as on scenes that give a clear picture of everyday life on the border: places like the so-called ‘duckbill’, the former enclave Klein Glienicke, or Engelbecken in Kreuzberg.
The broadcaster will intermittently switch its live coverage to an extraordinary event that symbolically and temporarily divides the city once again. The LICHTGRENZE installation places approximately eight thousand luminous, white balloons along the course of the Berlin Wall through the heart of the city. Around 15 kilometres in length, the LICHTGRENZE reminds us of the city’s former division. The highlight of the occasion is the balloon event, during which thousands of balloon patrons will take their places next to the helium-filled balloons and release them into the air.

The rbb will also be airing the memorial service at the Chapel of Reconciliation with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the subsequent journey together to the Berlin Wall memorial site and the ceremony at the Konzerthaus on Gendarmenmarkt hosted by the State of Berlin. It will also be covering the street festival sponsored by the German Federal Government, which will be held at Brandenburg Gate and Straße des 17. Juni.

At night, Jörg Thadeusz will be inviting guests to the Asisi Panometer on Checkpoint Charlie. Protagonists of the events surrounding the night of 9th November, such as Matthias Platzeck and Roland Jahn as well as prominent guests, including Michael Kessler, journalist Hatice Akün, choral conductor Simon Halsey and Yadegar Asisi, will share their own personal stories of reunification.
The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall will also receive in-depth coverage on rbb’s various radio programmes. rbb is already using a wide variety of approaches and concepts to address and celebrate the occasion, with activities culminating on the 9th of November.

Together, the rbb radio programmes are also searching for balloon patrons to support the impressive LICHTGRENZE installation. The broadcaster is giving total of 425 patronages to listeners.

All programmes will report live from the festivities. The capital city station radioBerlin 88.8 is posting a mobile remote broadcast studio at the Bornholmer Str./Bösebrücke and Antenne Brandenburg on Potsdamer Platz; radioeins is airing live on location at the East Side Gallery from a bus; Fritz is reporting from Mauerpark and Inforadio from Checkpoint Charlie.

At 10am on 9th November, the rbb programme ‘Das Erste’ will air a live report of the main memorial event moderated by Astrid Frohloff, with another live report at 6:50pm on the programme ‘Berlin Celebrates’, moderated by Sandra Maischberger and Sascha Hingst.

www.berlin-mauer.de, www.rbb-online.de 


Statement: Peter Buchner, CEO S-Bahn Berlin

‘You could experience the merging of the city everyday by riding the Berlin S-Bahn. No other mode of transportation brought people from East and West Berlin back together so quickly. Together with all employees of the S-Bahn Berlin, we want to continue writing the success story of the post- reunification period’.

When the border to West Berlin was closed, the great Berlin S-Bahn network became two parts. West Berliners rode the north-south tunnel through ‘ghost stations’ where the tube did not stop. for East Berliners, the S-Bahn station Friedrichstrasse was the terminus.

The fall of the Berlin wall was a tremendous challenge for the S-Bahn in both parts of the city. Our job was to transport the masses of people streaming in from all over the GDR for day visits to West Berlin. The fall of the Wall meant that, for the first time since 1961, it was possible to ride the red-and-yellow transit system all over Berlin and the surrounding area without barriers. By re-opening closed tube stations and bringing disused tracks back into operation, the S-Bahn was back to being a powerful transport system within a few years. The S-Bahn station Frie-drichstrasse was no longer a symbol of division, but the main transfer station in the city.

Few companies are as closely tied to the history of the city as the S-Bahn Berlin. With 402 mil-lion passengers in 2013 and 200,000 subscribers, it managed to reclaim its role as the backbone of the local transport system. This year, Berliners and Brandenburgers can celebrate not only the anniversary of the Berlin Wall, but also the 90th anniversary of the Berlin S-Bahn. On August 8th, 1924, the first electric overground journeyed from the Stettiner Bahnhof station (now Nordbahnhof) to Bernau.

True to the anniversary motto ‘We connect. For 90 years now’. S-Bahn Berlin – as the official mobility service provider of the ‘25 Years Fall of the Wall’ project – ensures that Berliners, Bran-denburgers and visitors all over the city are mobile and can be there to experience the celebra-tion in person. For this reason, we are issuing a Special Ticket with images commemorating the fall of the Wall. It costs 15 euros, is valid from November 7th (0:00) to November 10th (3:00), and covers all public transportation services in the tariff zones Berlin ABC. The ticket is available for purchase starting October 27th 2014, exclusively in the customer centres and ticket offices belonging to the Berlin S-Bahn and BVG. 

As the main sponsor of the light installation, the S-Bahn Berlin is patron for 90 balloons near Potsdamer Platz. Display boards in this area will show historical highlights from 90 years of S-Bahn history.

We hope that this great city and the surrounding area will continue to develop as a single region, and do so as dynamically as it has in recent years. Thus it is all the more important for this region that the Berlin S-Bahn bring people from East, West, South and North Berlin together. We connect. Since 90 years.         

Statement: Alexander Jung, Chief Representative for Berlin at Vattenfall

Vattenfall is sponsoring the energy needed to make the LICHTGRENZE glow

Almost no date has left such an enduring impression on our company as the reunification. The opening of the Berlin Wall allowed us to build a modern, environmentally-friendly energy supply – a key requirement for business development in the new German states. Berlin saw the joining of what had been artificially divided for decades: power plants, utilities and employees in both parts of our city. One of the urgent measures needed after the fall of the Berlin Wall was an emergency power connection between East and West Berlin. A significant improvement to the energy supply situation came with the commissioning of the 380-kV interconnector, an element that re-integrated West Berlin into the national German grid system. This ‘electric reunification’ would not have been possible without the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Over the past 25 years, Berlin has developed into a modern metropolis of reunified Germany, and we have played an active role in this process of transformation in the area of power- and heating supply. Vattenfall in its current form in Berlin and in the former East Germany would not exist today were it not for the reunification. As such, it seemed only right to support the LICHTGRENZE project at this historical site, but also as a symbol of our special connection with the capital.

The reunification is a unique event in German history. I can only hope that the significance of this day continues to resonate with my children’s generation and that the experience of a peaceful revolution will help us face future social and political challenges in our country. My wish for the German capital and Eastern Germany that they maintain the same dynamism and power of innovation that we have seen over the last 25 years. We will need this if we are to continue to be successful in the context of global competition between regions.

Statement: Daniel Wall, CEO Wall AG

Personal impressions

The fall of the Wall – that was a highly emotional, singular and positive event for Germany, the Wall AG, but also for me personally. It happened in our hometown and changed the world and our country. For this reason, it seemed natural that the Wall AG would support the ‘25 Years Fall of the Wall’ project. Because it bears impressive witness to where the death strip was once located – in places that we now cross every day, as a matter of course. This is a reason to celebrate.

On the evening of November 9th, 1989, I was out with my father after closing up the office. Sitting in a restaurant, we heard the news that something was happening at the Brandenburg Gate. We went over there straight away, and so my father and I were among the first to reach the Wall by the Brandenburg Gate. Until this evening, no one would have dared to go there as it could have been fatal. East German border guards tried to restrain the people, also with water jets, but they managed only a short time. Then, long after midnight, a few hundred people gathered and shouted: ‘The Wall has to go! The Wall has to go!’ All of us had climbed back up onto the Wall, then the first West Berliners jumped down into the East side, and we followed them – the border guards had since surrendered. So at three o’clock in the morning, we walked through the Brandenburg Gate for the first time in my life – something that had been unthinkable before. That night, we were massively excited to have witnessed it all.

We walked along Unter den Linden, and these days you can hardly imagine how dark it was. There were no shops at all, no neon signs, nothing. Eventually we wanted to go back. But what we did not know was that the Wall was higher on the East side than on the West, about three metres. We finally managed, and it was an unforgettable night.

The next few weeks were unique, emotional – and also successful from a business perspective. The fall of the Berlin Wall presented a great opportunity for the Wall AG to go expand from West Berlin and reach a market of 1.2 million people in the East. We did that, of course, and closed a contract with BVB in the East for 1200 waiting halls. We opened the first of these as early as April 1990. It is located on Unter den Linden, between the Russian Embassy and Brandenburg Gate. Very close the spot where we ventured after the fall of the Berlin Wall.