The Hoff lends star power to Berlin Wall campaign

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm •  Published: March 17, 2013
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BERLIN (AP) — David Hasselhoff put his name behind a campaign to preserve one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall, calling it a "sacred" monument to cheers Sunday from Germans who fondly remember his schmaltzy hit "Looking for Freedom" as one of the soundtracks to their peaceful 1989 revolution.

The actor, best known for starring in "Knight Rider" and "Baywatch," joined ordinary Berliners in protesting a real estate developer's plans to move part of the wall to make way for an access path for a luxury housing development.

"It's like tearing down an Indian burial ground. It's a no-brainer," said Hasselhoff, before recounting his own memories of visiting East Germany — grim cities, grim food — shortly before unification.

Plans to move part of the East Side Gallery — a 1.3 kilometer (3/4 mile) stretch of wall painted by artists after the fall of communism and popular with tourists — sparked angry protests earlier this month. Activists have denounced it as part of a wider trend of steamrolling Berlin's tumultuous history to make way for gleaming but soulless developments in the heart of the city.

At least 136 people died between 1961 and 1989 trying to cross the wall that divided the communist-run East Berlin from West Berlin. Most of the wall has since been destroyed, with only two large sections remaining as memorials.

"It's a stupid idea to rip parts of the wall out for luxury apartments," said Roland Junge, one of thousands of locals who accompanied Hasselhoff on an impromptu walk along the wall Sunday.

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