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The Berlin Wall: the most famous monument of recent German and world history

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The Berlin Wall: the most famous monument of recent German and world history

For 28 years, the Berlin Wall was a symbol of the Cold War and the internal German border separating West Berlin from East Germany. Its fall took on great meaning: nothing can divide the united people, no walls will save from the coming changes. Today tourists from all over the world come to see the surviving fragments of the Berlin Wall and the famous graffiti by 118 artists from 21 countries of the world!

The construction and fall of the Berlin Wall

After the end of World War II, the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain and the Cold War led to a major crisis in Berlin. In 1949, the FRG was founded in the three western zones of the German capital, and the GDR was founded on the territory of East Germany. The events that took place became the prerequisites for the construction of the wall, which divided the German people for long 28 years.


On the night of August 12-13, 1961, the GDR army blocked the roads and routes to West Berlin, and the entire perimeter of the border was covered with barbed wire. Then the construction of the Berlin Wall began, which has been rebuilt several times during its existence. Built of gray reinforced concrete, it gave the impression of being unshakable and unapproachable. The Berlin Wall consisted of 45,000 blocks measuring 3.6x1.5 m with a total length of 106 km and a height of 3.6 m. Barbed wire was stretched along the top of the fence, through which a high-voltage current was run, which made the wall insurmountable and prevented any illegal crossing attempts borders.

The fall

Calls for the destruction of the Berlin Wall from the leaders of different countries of the world began in the 80s. One of the striking examples of these events is the address of the American President R. Reagan to M. Gorbachev in 1987 during his speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

In 1989, perestroika began in the Soviet Union, and the leadership of the GDR could not resist citizens in their desire to leave the country, and on November 9, free passage across the border was allowed. In 1990, the Berlin Wall was completely demolished, leaving a small 1.3 km fragment as a reminder of the division of the German people.

The Berlin Wall: Remaining Fragments of History

When traveling around Berlin, be sure to see the surviving fragments of the Berlin Wall:

  • Memorial Berliner Mauer, dedicated to the dead people who tried to move to the western part of Berlin from the eastern
  • East Side Gallery is the longest surviving fragment of the structure that divided the country. In this part of the Berlin Wall, there are more than 106 drawings dedicated to political events that took place in Germany from 1989 to 1990. Painting “Lord! Help me survive among this mortal love ”- the most popular graffiti among tourists
  • Checkpoint Charlie, is the only place where foreign people and dignitaries could officially cross the border from 1961 to 1990.

Interesting Facts

  • Over the entire existence of the Berlin Wall, more than 5,000 people have successfully overcome it. But not everyone succeeded: when trying to get from the eastern part to the western part, more than 3,000 people were arrested and sent to prison, and the number of those killed reaches 150
  • Not only residents of East Germany tried to cross the border. Cases were recorded when the Germans tried to escape from the FRG to the GDR and the East German border guards assisted them in this event
  • In 2009, Jamaican athlete W. Bolt set a world record and received a 2.7 ton piece of the Berlin Wall as a gift
  • The R. Reagan Museum, Microsoft Corporation, the CIA and other organizations around the world keep fragments of the most famous landmark in Germany!

Object type: monument.

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