World News‎ > ‎

Former Baywatch Star Joins Campaign To Save Berlin Wall

posted 17 Mar 2013, 10:30 by Mpelembe   [ updated 17 Mar 2013, 10:30 ]

Former Baywatch and Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff campaigns to save a part of the Berlin Wall which local developers want to tear down to build a bridge.

BERLIN, GERMANY (MARCH 17, 2013) (REUTERS) -  David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff joined a campaign in Germany on Sunday (March 17) to keep what remains of the Berlin Wall as a monument after local developers had originally planned to demolish parts of the former Cold War symbol.

Cheered on by thousands of mostly young protesters who want the Wall to stay how it is, Hasselhoff performed his former hit song "Looking for Freedom" from the back of a van, singing into a megaphone.

Recalling the time when in 1989 he was asked to sing the song on the Berlin Wall, Hasselhoff told reporters "I was honoured in 1989 to sing on the Wall. It was a big surprise to me when they called and asked if I could sing on New Year's Eve and I said, only if I can sing on the Wall, knowing they would say no. And they said we need to get (then West German Chancellor) Helmut Kohl and (then East German leader Erich) Honecker to say yes. Both chancellors had to say yes. They called back two days later and they said yes," Hasselhoff said.

Speaking to reporters in a music club adjacent to the former barrier that divided East and West Germany, Hasselhoff said that as soon as he first heard about the campaign to save the Berlin Wall, he decided to join.

"My children came over here and walked the Wall. They know people will share the stories and they realise the severity of it," Hasselhoff said.

He said the Wall "keeps the memories of all the families, the thousands and thousands of families that were torn apart alive."

Some 6,000 people recently demonstrated to keep the part of the Berlin Wall known as "East Side Gallery" intact after German media reported that investors had planned the construction of a 120 metre high building which would have required the demolition of part of the monument.

According to media reports, such demolitions are currently no longer planned.

One protester who gave his name as Tim said he had moved to Berlin from southern Germany's Black Forest region a month ago.

"I don't think the Wall should disappear, no way, for historical reasons and also because of the people who suffered here. It should be kept as a monument," Time said.