Germany commemorates 60 years since building of Berlin Wall

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany on Friday commemorated 60 years since the day East German authorities started building the Berlin Wall, where at least 140 people were killed over three decades trying to flee to the West. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called its construction in 1961 the “beginning of the end” for the communist regime. The Berlin Wall stretched for 96 miles around West Berlin until 1989, when East German authorities reluctantly agreed following mass protests to open crossings. Steinmeier called on Germans not to let the memories of that period fade and urged them to actively participate in democracy, including by voting in the country’s national election next month.

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