David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff has added his celebrity name and voice to the campaign against moving one of the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall, calling the East Side Gallery section a “sacred monument,” and likened moving it to tearing down an Indian burial ground, The Associated Press reported on Sunday, March 17.
Hasselhoff, best known for his television series “Knight Rider” and “Baywatch” has been a German fan favorite since he recorded “Looking for Freedom,” which was used as one of the soundtracks in the German’s peaceful 1989 revolution.
Plans to move part of the East Side Gallery, a 1.3 kilometer section of the Berlin Wall, sparked angry protests earlier this month. Activists claim that moving the section of the Berlin Wall is part of a wider trend to “steamroll” Berlin’s “tumultuous history” and make way for gleaming but souless developments in the heart of the city.
It is estimated that at least 136 people died between 1961 and 1989 trying to cross the wall that divided communist occupied East Berlin from West Berlin. Most of the Berlin Wall has since been destroyed, with only two large sections remaining as memorials. A real estate developer wants to move the 1.3 kilometer section to make way for a luxury housing development.
During an impromptu walk with locals along the section of the Berlin Wall, Hasselhoff told reporters:
“The last piece of the wall is really sacred. It’s about people and about the hearts that were broken, hearts that were torn apart and lives that were lost. That’s what we’re talking about today, not a piece of real estate. If it goes to the next step, we’ll come back with a huge concert and really rock Berlin.”
The 28 mile barrier dividing the city of Berlin was finally opened for free travel between East and West Berlin on Nov. 9, 1989. Some Berliners took up sledgehammers and began smashing “The Wall” that same night.
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