Merkel Envoy Slams Trump's Wall, Drawing Cold War Comparison

(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trans-Atlantic envoy took a swipe at Donald Trump’s border wall, saying the lessons from Germany’s Cold War past show such barriers only yield division and isolation.

Peter Beyer, the German government’s trans-Atlantic coordinator and a lawmaker in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, issued a statement ahead of a trip to Arizona and Texas to speak with border authorities.

He made a rare foray into U.S. domestic politics, recalling the Berlin Wall, which divided the German capital from 1961 to 1989. Germany is preparing for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall.

“While understanding the U.S.’s legitimate security interests, a wall doesn’t resolve any domestic problems,” Beyer said in a statement distributed by the Foreign Ministry on Friday.

“Indeed German history has if nothing else shown that walls only do one thing: divide people from one another. Isolation in the long run doesn’t lead to security,” the statement said.

Merkel, who grew up in East Germany and herself crossed into West Berlin the night it came down on Nov. 9, 1989, has herself stepped up criticism of Trump’s protectionist policies. On Saturday she called the administration’s examination of European cars as a national security threat a “shock” to Germany.

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