25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cinema for Peace Foundation honored all those, who brought about the end of the Cold War and helped to accomplish the unification of Germany – a process, that started with the erosion of power in Eastern Europe and culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th 1989.

In an exclusive gala dinner at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, the “Men of the Century”, Mikhail Gorbachev, received great appraisal by the Academy Award winner Adrian Brody and German actor Jan Josef Liefers who both emphasized the Novel Peace Price Laureates outstanding role in ending the Cold War. “President Gorbachev, you changed the world and the dynamic of international relations forever”, Adrian Brody stated in his laudation. “The world will never forget what you have done”, he added in his laudatory speech.

In his speech, Mikhail Gorbachev emphasized the importance of German unification for improving relations between the West and the East. “The unification of Germany was a milestone in the process of ending the cold war. It opened up new prospects for the world and particularly for Europe.” He focused on perspectives for the future and how a new Cold War could be prevented, but he also sees the “Eastern and Western relationship going through a test” currently. The entire audience of approximately 300 guests highly praised Gorbachev’s lifetime achievements when Scorpions front singer Klaus Meine performed his legendary “Wind of Change”. No other song represents the feeling of millions of Eastern Europeans at the end of the 80s and 90s. Laudatory Jan Josef Liefers, who was born Dresden, East Germany, said “Gorbachev always be a hero”.


“President Gorbachev, You Changed the World.”
25 years after the Fall of the Wall: Cinema for Peace honored the heroes who ended the Cold War / Academy Award Winner Adrian Brody and Germany Actor Jan Josef Liefers Praised Mikhail Gorbachev / Gala Dinner with 300 guests at Hotel Adlon in Berlin

In addition to Gorbachev, other senior politicians and elder statesmen including the previous Hungarian Prime Minister, Miklós Németh (laudatory: Leslie Mandoki)andthe former French Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas (laudatory: Lord Owens)were honored. They all played a significant role in making “the world a better place.”

The gala also remembered silent heroes such as Stanislaw Petrow, (laudatory: Bill Roedy), the man who probably prevented a World War III: Stanislaw Petrow did not command a counter-strike when an alarm warning of a presumed, incoming missile attack from the USA suddenly went off. He saw several ballistic missiles launched towards the USSR on his radar screen, and being responsible for taking decisions on the spot, he immediately reported the incident to his superiors. However, Petrow decided it must have been a false alarm due to some system flaw.

Also honored as former GDR border troops officer Harald Jaeger, who did not shoot at the Bornholmer Straße, when thousands of citizens of Eastern Germany wanted to cross the border to the west, received highest respect for their courage. Also honored was the Hungarian officer Arpad Bella (laudatory: German actress Katja Riemann), who, in1989 had allowed East Germans to cross the border from Hungary to Austria and thus initiated one of the first steps when it came to more freedom for citizens behind the Iron Curtain. Johann Goeltl (laudatory: German actress Katja Riemann), was Bella’s counterpart on the Austrian side. “Jaeger, Bella and Goeltl did the right thing only relying on humanity as their core motivation”, laudatory Katja Riemann emphasized.

On November 8 and 9, Cinema for Peace and Mikhail Gorbachev’s New Policy Forum brought together politicians, conflict and peace researchers and dedicated artists to the international symposium “The World 25 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall – New Crisis, New Doubts, New Walls” at the Allianz Forum. During this high-level event, Gorbachev discussed strategies and mechanism to prevent another Cold at the Allianz, welcomed the guests.

Gorbachev also welcomed hundreds of Berlins on November 7 at Checkpoint Charlie, his first appearance in Germany at the beginning of the festivities of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The former Russian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner will also meet German Federal President Joachim Gauck as well as German chancellor Angela Merkel this coming Monday.

About the Cinema for Peace Initiative

The global Cinema for Peace Initiative was established following the events of 9/11. Along with leading representatives of film, politics, media and business, the Cinema for Peace Foundation combats inequality and human rights violations through the medium of film. In the past years, Cinema for Peace has been supported by Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Sean Penn, Richard Gere, Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt and public figures such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev, Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Desmond Tutu, Bono, Bob Geldof, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.

To date, the Initiative has created some 10 billion media contacts around the world, creating awareness for its mission and raising more than 10 million Euros in donations. Its signature event is the annual Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin, which presents the most valuable movies of the world.

At this and other annual Cinema for Peace events in Cannes, New York and Los Angeles the humanitarian efforts of filmmakers are honored. Furthermore, film productions that deal with current problems in conflict zones are presented to a broad public.

More at www.cinemaforpeace.com.

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