Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe accepted a unique, three-ton segment of the Berlin Wall as a gift from Verbundnetz Gas, a prominent German energy company, in a ceremony this evening in Leipzig.

This one-of-a-kind segment, which has been signed by leaders who played a central role in ending the Cold War, is a symbol of shared history between Germany and the United States. It will be unveiled during a special ceremony at the German Embassy in Washington, DC, on November 13 following its transatlantic journey. It will then remain there on temporary display before it finds a prominent Washington home.

“This unique piece of Berlin Wall will serve as a permanent reminder of what unfree systems can impose when free systems fail to resist,” said Kempe, author of Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth, and an expert on the Cold War and U.S.-German relations. “At a time when Russia is changing European borders by force, and when the threat of Mideast extremism is spreading, the Berlin Wall’s fall demonstrates what the Atlantic Community can achieve when it remains patient, unified and determined.”

Original signatories of this one-of-a-kind segment include former US President George H. W. Bush, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Polish Solidarity Leader Lech Walesa, individuals who were instrumental in bringing an end to the Cold War.

The ceremony was held on the eve of the Festival of Lights in Leipzig, which commemorates the anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe. At the ceremony, former Secretary of State James Baker, an honorary director of the Atlantic Council, added his signature to the Wall alongside the famous Leipzig conductor Kurt Masur. Henry Kissinger, the Council’s longest serving board member, joined Kempe in accepting the Wall segment.

The November 13 event will commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. At that event, former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft will add his signature. In bringing this segment of the Berlin Wall to Washington, the Atlantic Council seeks to preserve and honor what it and its signatories represent: democracy, freedom, human rights, and a unified Atlantic Community.