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Berlin Wall (Antifascistischer Schutzwall)

Historical images of the Wall, a powerful and enduring symbol of the Cold War

On August 13, 1961, overnight the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete wall between East and West Berlin. The wall included over 300 watchtowers, 106km of concrete and 66.5km of wire fencing completely surrounding West Berlin, preventing any access from East Germany. The official purpose was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West.  On November 9, 1989, the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall with some crossing freely into West Berlin and others chipping away at the wall itself with hammers.  In 1990 the Official demolition of the Berlin Wall begins undertaken by former East German border guards under a democratically elected government.  The wall stood for nearly 30 years and to this day remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War.

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Featured Berlin Wall (Antifascistischer Schutzwall) Print

Lichtgrenze project lightening 'Berlin Wall'

A row of lanterns installed on the river Spree bank, on the course of the former Berlin wall border near the German parliament in Berlin on November 5, 2014. Highlighting Berlin's long and painful division, 8,000 illuminated balloons will light from November 7 until November 9, 2014 15-kilometre of the route of the old border between East ( GDR) and West Germany in Berlin to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Featured Berlin Wall (Antifascistischer Schutzwall) Print

Actual entrance to the American sector in Berlin

This is the entry point to the american sector, today is a mayor tourist atraction and is on the border to the american sector of Berlin.
West Berlin was a free city and political enclave surrounded by East Berlin and East Germany that existed between 1949 and 1990. It was located some 100 miles east of the East/West German border and was accessible by land from West Germany only by a narrow rail and highway corridor. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945. It was politically closely affiliated with, though not part of, West Germany. It had a special and unique legal status because its administration was formally conducted by the Western Allies. East Berlin consisted of the region occupied and administered by the Soviet Union, and was claimed as its capital by East Germany. The Western Allies did not recognise this claim, as they asserted that the entire city of Berlin was legally under four-power administration. The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, physically divided East and West Berlin until it fell in 1989.
With about two million inhabitants, West Berlin had the highest number of residents of any city in Cold War-era Germany.

© fitopardo

Featured Berlin Wall (Antifascistischer Schutzwall) Print

Walking the Berlin Wall

The former course of the Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer), which split West and East Berlin from 1961 to 1989, in the city's Zimmerstrasse. Its total length was 96 miles, of which 27 miles ran roughly north-south, cleaving the city in two, while another 69 miles isolated the enclave of West Berlin from the surrounding East German (DDR) state. Although about 5000 people managed to escape over it during the time it stood, at least 136 also died while trying to cross it. Taken in Berlin, Germany.