Berlin Wall, Berlin

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  • elgin99's Profile Photo

    Berliner Mauer - Berlin Wall

    by elgin99 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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".

    memorial of victims of the Wall the line where the Wall stood, Potsdamer Platz rest of Wall
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  • heitzenrater's Profile Photo

    Build up the wall

    by heitzenrater Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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


    Flat as a wall View near the wall
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  • Blatherwick's Profile Photo

    The Berlin Wall

    by Blatherwick Updated Apr 4, 2011

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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.

    Berlin Wall
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  • grishaV1's Profile Photo

    The Kill Zone

    by grishaV1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

    Back in the
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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Berlin Wall

    by mallyak Written Dec 7, 2010

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    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.

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    by alyf1961 Updated Nov 22, 2010

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    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.

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  • azz8206's Profile Photo

    Bernauer Strasse

    by azz8206 Written Sep 29, 2010

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    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.

    Preserved death strip and rebuilt guard tower Looking through to the death strip Part of the wall going back up using original wall
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  • Berlin Wall trail

    by brexx Written Mar 10, 2010

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    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, thats genuine stuff.
    Peter B.

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  • elpariente's Profile Photo

    El Muro - Die Mauer - The Wall (1961-1989)

    by elpariente Written Mar 4, 2010

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    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

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  • FridgeMagnet's Profile Photo

    Berlin Wall

    by FridgeMagnet Written Feb 7, 2010

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    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!

    Berlin Wall and Topographie des Terrors Exhibition
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  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    Still like a Miracle

    by christine.j Written Jun 20, 2009

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    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. 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.

    The memorial today

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  • Emile72's Profile Photo

    "live" signs of recent history

    by Emile72 Written Apr 27, 2009

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    The wall separated East Germany from West Germany for more than a quarter-century, from the day construction began on 13 August 1961 until the Wall was opened on 9 November 1989. During this period, at least 98 people were confirmed killed trying to cross the Wall into West Berlin.
    Today you can still find same traces of the building.
    Little is left of the Wall at its original site, which was destroyed almost everywhere. Three long sections are still standing: an 80-meter (263 ft) piece of the "first (westernmost) wall" at the site of the former Gestapo headquarter half way between Checkpoint Charlie and Potsdamer Platz; a longer section of the "second (easternmost) wall" along the Spree River near the Oberbaumbrücke nicknamed East Side Gallery; and a third section with hints of the full installation, but partly reconstructed, in the north at Bernauer Straße, which was turned into a memorial in 1999.
    The following link will show you where in Berlin you can find remains of the wall:

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Bernauer Strasse

    by mvtouring Written Mar 13, 2009

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    I did not visit Bernauer Strasse, as I did not think that emotionally I would be strong enouh to visit t. My brother-in-law however did. We were told that this was one of the most notorious stretches of the Wall. Originally, there was a line of apartment blocks on the eastern side of Bernauer Strasse, but after the wall went up these buildings were used as conduits for escape, so the East German authorities had them dismantled and replaced with a lethal "death zone" of guard towers and machine gun emplacements.

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  • piglet44's Profile Photo

    Fascinating History

    by piglet44 Written Jul 26, 2008

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    I was curious to know about the wall and its history,and to see how things were before Berlin was reunited.We visited both the East Side Gallery and also the museum at Checkpoint Charlie, and walked the length of the street near the hotel where the wall once stood.There is an outdoor exhibition called "Topography of Terror" which runs all the way along the route explaining information about the period of the city's division ,with many historic pictures of the Wall. It is very interesting. They also show some movies at the Checkpoint Charlie museum which are very interesting and help to give some idea of what it was like to be a citizen of Berlin at that time.
    Well worth the visit.

    get your passport stamped at the border wall at the East side Gallery
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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Berlin Wall

    by mvtouring Written Jul 13, 2008

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    On the 13th August 1961 the erection of the Berlin wall was started. Armed Military units of the GDR sealed off the city. On the 9th November 1989 due to some uncertainty from an announcement by politburo member Gunter Schabowski the wall comes down. Today we can still see little bits of the wall. Some are at Eastside Galery and some at Bauernstrasse in Wedding.

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