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"live" signs of recent history
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: http://www.visitberlin.de/bilder/kultur_neu/teaser/plan_mauer_gross.jpg
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.
Berlin Wall Documentation Centre
Some guides tell you this museum is not as popular as some of the others like Checkpoint Charlie because it is not as central; do not be fooled. The museum which is free, documents the history of the wall with photographs and films. It is extremely moving as you watch the film and the desperate attempts of escape. There is a tower attached to the museum where you can look down on the wall and no mans land. You can walk by the wall and touch it. There is information across the road on a piece of waste land regarding the competition held to create an extension to the museum in a new building. The winning entry should be completed in the next few years.
- Museum Visits
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.
- Historical Travel
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.
- Historical Travel
Part of the historic wall still stands, now protected for cultural reasons. The longest section is near Potsdamer Platz by the Topography of Terror, once the symbol for a divided Europe it is now just a faint reminder of the struggle between east and west.
Potsdamer Platz is one of the places where you can see and touch the historic Berlin Wall that used to divide not only West Berlin from East Germany but also West and East in general. During almost three decades it was an icon of the Iron Curtain. It was constructed in 1961 and dismantled in 1989.
Art Gallery outdoors
The perfect place to express the possible solution to the palestinion and israeli conflict, on the berlin wall is a great painting i liked, as well as countless others starting to fade from the weather. they should really protect them, because they are great expression of frustration, hate, and xenophobia that represents the old east-west divide.
Go to Ostbahnhof, and as the workers at the train stop "Berlin wall??" They dont know english! maybe because theyre in the east part, but in german is Berliner Mauer" Walk outside the train station and you can see it! It stretches for like 5 km, and is the real thing folks. It is heavy re-enforced concrete. Peer past the wall into the east part; its desolute, hopeless destitution, and is a shock for me. Things like that are worth a photo, but at the time i was in tourist mode, where i seek to photograph things of beauty and great boldness.
A Piece of the Wall....
We ended up along this stretch of roadway close to the Topographie de Terror....along Wilhelmstrasse....in what was Eastern Berlin.....this section of the Wall is along the street that used to house the Headquarters of the Nazi Gestapo.....and today there is an open air exhibit amongst the remains of the building foundations.
Our guide from the Berlin Walks Tour company brought us here and explained the story of a great escape from the GDR....and how because there was no building along this side of the street that this escape was succesful.There was no building here because nobody wanted to build on the former location of the Headquarters of the Gestapo.
"At the request of the "Topography of Terror" Foundation, the 200 meters of the Wall which still stand on Niederkirchnerstrasse, marking the border between the districts of Mitte (East) and Kreuzberg (West), have been preserved, retaining all traces of the destruction that occurred during the transitional period, and placed under protection as a historical monument."
"This section of the Wall will thus be kept in its current condition, as a document both of the inhumanity of the border and of how it was overcome. It forms the northern edge of the "Topography of Terror" site and will be integrated into its overall design. In the mean time, it is protected by a temporary fence."
- Historical Travel
The everlasting symbol of the division between East and West Germany was the Berlin Wall, erected to halt the outflow of skilled labor from the GDR to the better economic and living conditions of the west. The GDR claim was to protect against Fascist incursions. For 28 years, it would remain intact, increasingly fortified to prevent escapes ( the official count of escape deaths is 125, probably much higher). The policy was simple - shoot to kill. In 24 hours beginning on a Sunday morning, Aug 13, 1961, streets were torn up and then barricaded, subway stops closed, and military forces amassed sealing off East Berlin completely from the west. The initial wall was barbed wire, later supplemented by ann inner cement wall creating an interval space known as the death strip. Eventually the wall would be composed of 10 foot tall cement blocks topped with smooth pipes (image 4) reinforced with bunkers and 300 watchtowers.
Student protests and the opening of the Austrian Hungarian border in 1989 led to huge demonstrations in East Germany. In November 1989, the East German government announced permission for limited "private trips abroad". Celebrations throughout Berlin culminated in the physical dismantling of the wall by private citizens, an early step in the reunification of Germany completed on Oct 3 1990.
Little remains of the wall - one easily accessed long segment remains at the site of the former Gestapo headquarters and Topography of Terror. Much of the course is marked by a double row of bricks cutting across selected streets. We sought one out on Zimmerstrasse between the Topography site and Checkpoint Charlie. Straddling the former border between the two sections of the city induces a strange and difficult to describe sensation. The bricks attract little attention from passerbys. Amidst the crowds, one has a piece of world history to himself.
A new Wall for the Wall in Niederkirchnerstraße
When you walk between Checkpoint Charlie and Martin-Gropius-Bau along the “Topographie des Terrors” you will notice that the former Wall that separated East and West Berlin has got a kind of new wall – a massive metal fence. This separates the Wall from souvenir hunters who have broken big chunks out of the historic concrete slabs, leaving gaping holes. Before this piece of history would have been totally destroyed and carried into all parts of the world, this protection measure was put in order.
The most-liked parts of the Wall were the parts with graffiti. The western side of the Wall was said to be the world’s longest gallery. Many artists painted their works onto the four metre high concrete slabs.
You see some great examples of Wall art some metres further in front of the world’s largest helium balloon, and a souvenir shop.
(On photo 2 you can see a gaping hole in the Wall, damaged by souvenir hunters.)
- Historical Travel
BERLINER MAUER- THE WALL THAT DIVIDED A NATION
The Berlin Wall, which divided Germany into two nations (FDR & DDR) was built in 1961 during the peak of coldwar. Check Point Charlie was the main entry/exit point. There were Alpha and Beta check points also. Many people lost their lives while trying to cross over the wall during cold war era. The wall was demolished in 1989. The demolition of the wall later led to unification of Germany.
Today only a small portion of the wall is prserved as a monument.
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A piece of history or a tourist trap?
The fallen of the Berlin wall has been ofr sure one of the most important things that happened in last century and i think that if you come in Berlin you'd pass and visit what was the wall and where it was.
In the same time, even if it's a thing that is a part of Berlin (and humanity) history, don't aspect to find something commemorative or special. As you can see from the pictures there ae just "pieces" of wall that is used (as i did) to make pictures in front of it.
You can also find lots of "souvenirs". Little pieces of the wall that are sell in lots of different shops: a sort of merchandising. So i'd consider the Berlin wall from his storical point of veiw, or just like a tourist trap to make money?? Well i think everyone can thing in a different way, but for me it has both sides. Personally i'd prefer the history then the money also as a way to respect all the people that tryed to pass by the wall but..the show must go on!
The wall is all around you!
As you walk around Berlin, fragments, pieces or the dividing line of the Former Berlin Wall are all around you as a constant reminder of how recent this country was divided and how far they have come.
The Cold War started in late 1445, and continued to fester until it really got cold. During our Korean War effort to fight Communism, Russia was prodding Chinese to assist. It worked, and we, as Americans learned one of the first lessons, stay out of it. That only led to more coolness. In 1961, as a promise to a threat, a part of the wall was put up one night around Russia section of Berlin. How in the world it did not happen until then, I am dumbfounded. In a few weeks it surrounded what was then called East Berlin. It ended up being about 30 miles around east/versus west sectors. it was orn down in 1989. Only a small part-maybe 5-6 blocks remain, but markings on the road show other parts that had the wall dividing.
- Historical Travel
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