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Berlin Wall

berlin wall

Berlin Wall

The construction of the Berlin Wall and, especially its fall, have been part of the most important moments of the history of the twentieth century. This wall divided Berlin into two parts for 28 years, separating families and friends.

At the end of World War II, after the division of Germany, Berlin was also divided into four sectors of occupation: Soviet, American, French and English. The bad relations between the communists and the allies grew until they reached the point where two coins, two political ideals, and finally two Germans emerged.

In 1949, the three western sectors (American, French and British) came to be called the Federal Republic of Germany (RFA) and the Eastern (Soviet) sector became the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Berlin was divided and 81 points of passage between the two areas of the city were created.

The battered Soviet economy and flourishing West Berlin meant that until 1961 almost 3 million people left behind East Germany to enter capitalism.

The GDR began to realize the loss of population it suffered (especially of high profile) and, on the night of August 12, 1961, decided to lift a temporary wall and close 69 control points, leaving only 12 open.

The next morning a 155-kilometer provisional fence had been placed between the two parts of Berlin. The means of transportation were interrupted and no one could cross from one part to another.

During the following days, the construction of a brick wall began and people whose houses were on the construction line were evicted.

Over the years, there were many attempts to escape, some successfully, so that the wall was expanded to unsuspected limits to increase its security.

The Berlin Wall eventually became a concrete wall between 3.5 and 4 meters high, with an interior made up of steel cables to increase its strength. At the top they placed a hemispherical surface so no one could get hold of it.

Accompanying the wall, the so-called "death belt" was created, consisting of a moat, a fence, a road that constantly circulated military vehicles, alarm systems, automatic weapons, watchtowers and patrols accompanied by dogs 24 hours of the day. Trying to escape was similar to playing Russian roulette with the bullet-laden depot. Even so, many tried.

In 1975, 43 kilometers of the wall were accompanied by the security measures of the death row, and the rest were protected by fences.
Crossing the Wall

Between 1961 and 1989 more than 5,000 people tried to cross the wall and more than 3,000 were detained. Around 100 people were killed in the attempt, the last of them on February 5, 1989.

Checkpoint Charlie Wall Museum tells the most curious stories of how people managed to cross the wall.

The fall of the wall was motivated by the opening of borders between Austria and Hungary in May 1989, as more and more Germans traveled to Hungary to seek asylum in the different embassies of the Federal Republic of Germany. This led to huge demonstrations at Alexanderplatz which led to the government of the GDR saying on 9 November 1989 that the passage to the west was permitted.

That same day, thousands of people crowded at the checkpoints to be able to cross the other side and no one could stop them, so that there was a massive exodus.

The next day, the first gaps opened in the wall and began the countdown to the end of his days.

Once released, families and friends were able to see each other again after 28 years of forced separation.

Where to see the remains of the Berlin Wall

The most important part that has remained standing is in the area known as East Side Gallery. There you can walk 1.3 kilometers of the wall decorated with impressive paintings that reflect many events related to the wall.

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