Presented is an original autographed photograph that has been signed by President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan, and West German Mayor Eberhard Diepgen. Eberhard Diepgen was the Mayor of West Berlin from 1984 to 1989 and later served as Mayor of Unified Berlin from 1991 to 2001. The photograph depicts President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, West German President Richard von Weizsäcker and Marianne von Weizsäcker, and West German Mayor Eberhard Diepgen and Monika Diepgen in front of Schloss Bellevue in June of 1987.
In March of 1987, West Berlin Mayor Eberhard Diepgen met with President Reagan and Vice President Bush at the White House. At the conclusion of this meeting, Diepgen announced that Reagen would visit West Berlin in June of that year. Reporting to the press, Diepgen explained, “I discussed with the President his visit to Berlin, the philosophy of the visit to Berlin--that’s the philosophy of cooperation and . . . freedom.” Diepgen told reporters, “We discussed the new developments in the dialogue between East and West and the hopes of the people in Europe, East and West, and in the United States of America.”
On June 12, 1987, President Reagan spoke in West Berlin, Germany, and implored the Soviet Union to tear down the wall that had divided West Berlin and Soviet-controlled East Berlin since 1961. In that now-famous speech Reagan said, "We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
Later on in his speech, President Reagan said, "As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, 'This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.' Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom." West German President Richard Von Weizsäcker, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and West Berlin Mayor Eberhard Diepgen were all in attendance at this West Berlin speech.
President Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech was a clear indication that the United States stood with the people of both East Germany and West Germany against the tyranny of the Soviet Union. Two years later, the demolition of the Berlin Wall began in November 1989, marking the first steps toward German reunification.
Very good condition. Photograph is black and white, with crisp white margins and no toning or fading to photographic paper. In the bottom margin is a calligraphic text that reads "To Alfred Zwirner, with best wishes," in black ink. Nancy Reagan’s signature is below, in black felt tipped ink pen, and reads “Nancy +”. Ronald Reagan’s signature is in black felt tipped ink pen. His signature reads, “Ronald Reagan” following his wife’s inscription. Their signatures are legible and bold, with no fading to the ink. Eberhard Diepgen signed his autograph in blue ballpoint ink, in the photograph, over his legs. His autograph is harder to read, as it is signed on top of a photographic image. Some fading to his last name.
The signed group photograph is artfully paired with a black and white portrait of President Ronald Reagan at top. Both photographs are presented in a custom-built collage with acid-free black top mats, silver beaded spandrels, UV Conservation Clear glass, and a custom black and silver wooden frame.
Framed dimensions: 27 3/4” H x 18" W x 1 1/2” D.