The Berlin Wall was a "must see" while in Berlin and with a good local friend we went to see the "East Side Gallery" A section that is really colourful and had been painted in different sections by various artists sending their message with their brushes..some of the images are extremely well done and very colourful. I beleive there must have been at least a kilometer of The Wall standing in this particular part that we walked and viewed and is extremely interesting to see ..You will leave with some really good colourful photos as souvenirs also.
There's really not much to say about the wall itself other than it's a relic that most tourists will want to see for themselves but quickly move on. I think I imagined that it would be taller but other than that it's not the wall itself but the stories behind it that really make for the interest in its history.
There is a single piece of it at Checkpoint Charlie - much daubed. See the photo. There is a nearby museum giving much more information but we didn't go into this one.
A long stretch of the wall is located next to the exhibition called the Topography of Terror which is not about the wall but more about the rise of the Nazis and their subsequent downfall during World War II. There are a few explanatory signs but really nothing very much about the wall itself as far as I could tell.
I went out for an early morning walk near my hotel in ChauseeStrasse and came upon a few pieces of the wall and further round the block and running in parallel to the ChauseeStrasse was a long line of cleared land (see other photos) which I can only assume was part of the border areas which I understand ran along this part of the Berlin. It was interesting to chance upon this area which has clearly not been developed yet. It made me think what it must have been like back in the days of the DDR when people risked their lives to cross open stretches of land to reach the west and yet for me it took just a few minutes, if that, to walk across this piece of wasteland in perfect safety and peace. How times have changed in less than 25years.
The 9th of November was a Thursday in 1989, and I was still at Magdeburg, on next day many people managed to get a seat on a flight to Berlin, and I stayed there for the weekend. I didn't get back before Monday noon, and by that time I had missed a test in History - but what History teacher wouldn't accept the excuse I had?
Not knowing the history of the area I wondered why the number 50 tram turned around at Bjornson Strasse on Sundays instead of carrying on across the bridge and why should there be a turn around at this point. When the Berlin Wall was in palce the Bornholmer Strasse Bridge was a crossing point. The Bornholmer Strasse S Bahn station became a ghost station where the trains going to the east or west of the city never stopped. There is a small exhibition on the eastern side of the bridge with photographs from the cold war era and a small memorial. There is a concrete wall along the back of the path. When the wall was first put up people use to climb the fence and work their way down the railway embankment cross the lines and come up on the other side in the west. As usual the way to stop this was with a taller inner security concrete wall which also ran pararell with the railway lines. At least 5 people met with accidents here and 4 more were shot by border guards. But this is where it all ended for the Berlin Wall on 09 November 1989 when thousands of people were able to freely cross from the east into the west and the GDR collapsed shortly afterwards. Going back to the beginning this was as far as trams could in the east and the reason for the turn around.
The Berlin Wall known in the Soviet Union and in the German Democratic Republic as the "Anti-Fascist Protective Rampart," was a separation barrier between West Berlin and East Germany (the German Democratic Republic), which closed the border between East and West Berlin for 28 years. Construction on the wall began on August 13th. Many families were split. Many East Berliners were cut off from their jobs and from chances for financial improvement; West Berlin became an isolated enclave in a hostile land.
The Berlin Wall was the most prominent part of the inner German border and an iconic symbol of the Cold War. On November 9, 1989, the government announced that crossing of the border would be permitted.
"The Wall was over 155km (96 miles) long. In June 1962, work started on a second parallel fence up to 91 meters (100 yards) further into East German territory, with houses in between the fences torn down and their inhabitants relocated. A no man's land was created between the two barriers, which became widely known as the "death strip". It was paved with raked gravel, making it easy to spot footprints left by escapees; it offered no cover; it was booby-trapped with tripwires; and, most importantly, it offered a clear field of fire to the watching guards. During the Wall's existence there were around 5,000 successful escapes into West Berlin. Varying reports claim around 192 people were killed trying to cross and many more injured."
BTW, where the Wall once stood you can see as a stone line with plaques.
In my old home region existed the "little Berlin", so called because one village was divided, like in Berlin happened. I know that both walls, lived many years in such frontier region, remember for some bad tragedies in families.
So you understand why I am still happy, 17 years later, to walk through the Brandenburg Gate, from East to West or back...
I don't understand why some (too much) people forgotten that time, and wish "to get back the fences and walls".
Sticks and stones will break my bones but walls will never keep me out!
Berlin Wall, former barrier
surrounding West Berlin
and symbol of the Cold War,
built on August 13, 1961
City of Berlin: Divided into the
American, British, French and Soviet
sector with several border crossing
points like Checkpoint Charlie
96 mi (155 km) barbed wire
barricade and concrete wall
with an average height of
11.8 ft (3.60 m)
Opened by East Germans on
November 9, 1989 and torn down
by end of 1990, as Communism
collapsed and Cold War ended
The first concrete elements and large square blocks were used first on August 15, 1961. Within the next months the first generation of the Berlin Wall was build up: a wall consisting of concrete elements and square blocks.
A second Wall was build in June 1962 in order to prevent from escaping to the West.
The first Wall was improved during the next years and it's difficult to distinguish between the first and the second generation of the Wall
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The Berlin Wall was the most symbollic icon of Communist oppression in the second half of the 20th century. This section of the Berlin Wall is where the artist Ben Wargin installed his "Parliament of Trees against War and Violence" in the form of segments of the Berlin Wall listing how many people were killed at the Wall in what year. A very moving spot with concrete tablets on the ground listing the names of people who died trying to reach the freedom of the West.
By the late Fifties, eight to ten thousand East Germans were fleeing to West Germany daily. On August 13, 1961, the government of East Germany constructed a wall around Berlin and through its center to keep its citizens in. The wall was composed of 155 km of barbed wire barricade and concrete wall with an average height of 3.60 m. The border was guarded by mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, over 300 watch towers, and thirty bunkers.
During the Wall's existence there were around 5,000 successful escapes into West Berlin; 192 people were killed trying to cross and around 200 were seriously injured.
In May 1989, Hungary opened its borders to Austria. Hungary was promptly flooded with East Germans and 4500 crossed to the West in a matter of hours. Others crammed the West German Embassy property in Prague.
The East German government allowed the East Germans in Prague access to the West. The travel restrictions for East Germans were lifted somewhat by the new government's shift on November 9, 1989. It was mistakenly announced that all restrictions had been abandoned. Tens of thousands of people immediately went to the Wall. It eventually became clear to the border guards that there was little way to hold back these huge numbers of East German citizens. In face of the escalating crowds the guards eventually opened the access points. The ecstatic East Berliners were soon greeted by jubilant West Berliners on the other side in an all-out party atmosphere. November 9 is thus considered the date the Wall fell.
Between the walls was the "Kill Zone" anyone found within this area was shot and killed. The guards were given bonuses to make sure they shoot to kill always. Those trying to escape to the west, or simply tired of living anymore at all tried to make this run and ended up dead. A terrible place. To walk through was very chilling yet its important history to remember and not let it happen again such places.
The east side gallery is one of the fewer places still standing of the original wall. Its near the river Spree near Ostbahnhof. Its going to crumbles now in a way, and they say it will be a part of history not seen anymore if more steps are not taken to preserve it. Also there is part at the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz.
The website link is great! If you have never visit Berlin or the site of the former wall, this website really takes you there in pictures and descriptions more than I could ever do.
The Wall was torn down with great vigour in 1989 and 1990, and now there is very little of it remaining. And during the intervening years parts of the path of the wall - which ran through what is now very hot property in Berlin's city centre - have been built on. Nevertheless there are lots of traces still visible, especially if you know what you're looking for.
THE BERLIN WALL
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting August 13, 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls.
East Berliners were not allowed to cross the border but people were allowed to cross from west to east if they had the correct paperwork.
The wall was not completely finished until 1980. Four walls were built starting with a wire fence and ending with a concrete wall.
Wire fence (1961)
Improved wire fence (1962–1965)
Concrete wall (1965–1975)
Border Wall 75 (1975–1989)
Around 5,000 people are thought to have tried to defect to the west, with around 200 people being killed whilst attempting to leave.
On the 9th November 1989 a spokesman from the politburo announced that the borders were to be opened for everybody, nobody had told him this was effective from 17th November so when asked when he said immediately. The people of East Germany poured through the checkpoints and were welcomed by crowds of West Germans.
There are parts of the Berlin wall going back up on Bernauer Strasse to attract tourists. You can also see a preserved part of the death strip with a reconstructed guard tower here. There is a viewing platform across the street. Most attempted escapes from East Berlin happened on Bernauer Strasse at this location. When one goes to the other side of the death strip there is a gap in the wall where East Germans would look through to the death strip.
Last year I decided to take a long walk from Bornholmer brucke in the north of berlin to
treptower park in the South. A nice stroll of about 20km....
I can really recommend it. Just follow trail signs, quite an interesting story Berlin tells about.
And if you need solid part of berlin wall check out berlinwallbookend.com, thats genuine stuff.
Del muro sólo puedo decir que es una de las verguenzas de nuestra historia reciente , aunque quedan aún otros muchosen el mundo , se abrió en 1989 (ayer)
No es fácil de comprender nuestra historia
Prácticamente los 155kms de muro han desaparecido y sólo pueden verse unos pocos restos que dan una idea de lo triste y trágica que debió de ser la vida con él
Se Puede ver en :
- Está todo el perímetro del muro marcado con una línea de adoquines
- Cerca del Charlie Check Point
- 1300 metros de muro forman la East Side Gallery , la mayor galería al aire libre , donde importantes artistas han dejado su mensaje y su pintura
Ver el video
Video : El Muro - Die Mauer - The wall
We can only say that the Wall is one of the shames of our recent history, although many other Walls remain on the world, it was opened in 1989 (yesterday)
It is not easy to understand our history
Most of the 155 kms of wall have disappeared and can only be seen a few remnants that give you an idea of how sad and tragic it shoul be the living with the wall
It can be seen at:
-The entire perimeter of the wall is marked with a line of cobblestones
- Near the Check Point Charlie
- 1300 meter of the wall form the East-Side Gallery, the largest open-air gallery, where major artists have left their message and their painting
See video :
Video : El Muro - Die Mauer - The wall
Not much of the Berlin Wall remains. A section of it can be seen on Zimmerstrasse near Potsdamer Platz. Checkpoint Charlie is quite close by also.
There is also an exhibition here called "Topographie des Terrors". It adds a little bit of interest because just looking at a wall can be a bit boring even if it's the Berlin Wall!
This year it's the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, still a miracle for me. There are many extra exhibitions throughout the city, a large photo exhibition on Alexanderplatz for example.
We walked to the memorial at the Bernauer Strasse, an extremely interesting and very touching exhibition. It is right at the spot where the wall used to be. Now there is a lot of information and pictures and it was very emotional for me to see the huge change which has happened in the last 20 years.
http://www.berliner-mauer-dokumentationszentrum.de/index_en.php is the link to the general page, the one I put further down takes you to the Bernauer Strasse.
The picture in black and white shows what the Bernauer Strasse had looked like when the wall was still standing, the red dot is the spot of the memorial museum.