Visiting German journalist reflects on Berlin Wall history - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Visiting German journalist reflects on Berlin Wall history

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(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). Police officers guard in front of a remaining part of the Berlin Wall in Berlin on Wednesday, March 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). Police officers guard in front of a remaining part of the Berlin Wall in Berlin on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

BERLIN (WRCB/AP) -  Work crews backed by about 250 police have removed portions of the Berlin Wall known as the East Side Gallery to make way for an upscale building project, despite demands by protesters that the site be preserved.

Police spokesman Alexander Toennies told The Associated Press there were no incidents as work began about 5 a.m. to remove four sections of the wall, each about 1.5 yards wide. That will make way for an access route to the planned high-rise luxury apartments along the nearby Spree River.

Plans to remove part of the 3/4-mile stretch of wall sparked protests that developers were sacrificing history for profit.

Chistoph Scheld, a German reporter visiting WRCB this week as part of journalism exchange program, remembers growing up in a divided Germany.

"We Germans were all very happy when the wall came down," said Scheld.

"And we're still grateful that it happened. But we still want to have that last part of the wall that is still there as a reminder to future generations to keep in mind what happened and all the terrible things that happened along the wall.

At least 136 people died trying to scale the wall that divided communist-run East Berlin from West Berlin.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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