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County displays Berlin Wall section

County displays Berlin Wall section  

Lawrenceville, Ga (Sept. 3, 2014) – A four-ton chunk of the 100-mile long wall that once isolated West Berlin within East Germany for nearly three decades during the Cold War is now on display outside the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville. Graffiti artists painted an American flag, people and buildings on the side that once faced West Berlin.

Friends Suwanee Grill owners Ray Stanjevich, a native of Montenegro, and Suzanne Cartwright, a first generation American, bought the historic artifact at auction for $23,500. It was previously displayed in front of Suwanee City Hall. Moving the 12-foot tall concrete section required a crane and tractor trailer operated by professional movers who placed it near the main GJAC entrance on Thursday.

“Suzanne and I purchased the wall as a way to keep it in the community where we live and work,” said Stanjevich. “We believe it is important for kids to learn history because we too easily forget the bad things that have happened in the past.”

Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “I am thankful to both Ray and Suzanne for their willingness to share such a meaningful piece of history with the community.”

After World War II, Germany was split into four zones, occupied by each of the Allied powers that defeated the Nazis. Germany’s capital, Berlin, was in the Soviet-controlled zone that became East Germany, but it was also split into four sections. France, Great Britain and the United States controlled West Berlin and the Soviet Union controlled the East.

Protesters toppled the wall on Nov. 9, 1989. Official demolition started the following June. Border controls ended in 1990 when Germany was reunited as one country.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners will present a proclamation to the couple as an expression of their appreciation on Tuesday, Sept. 16 during the board’s 2 p.m. work session.