Berlin Wall

fall of the Berlin WallWallthe wallFall of the Walldivision of BerlinThe Berlin WallBerlin CrisisThe fall of the Berlin Wallcollapse of the Berlin Wall1961
The Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer, ) was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.wikipedia
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West Berlin

West-BerlinWestBerlin
The Wall cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including East Berlin.
The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, physically separated West Berlin from its East Berlin and East German surroundings until it fell in 1989.

Berlin

Berlin, GermanyState of BerlinGerman capital
The Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer, ) was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.
After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided; West Berlin became a de facto West German exclave, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989) and East German territory.

East Germany

East GermanGerman Democratic RepublicGDR
The Wall cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including East Berlin. Construction of the Wall was commenced by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) on 13 August 1961.
The government fortified its western borders and, in 1961, built the Berlin Wall.

Wall of Shame

Wall of shame (epithet)
The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the "Wall of Shame", a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt in reference to the Wall's restriction on freedom of movement.
"Wall of Shame" (Schandmauer) is a phrase that is most commonly associated with the Berlin Wall.

Inner German border

borderinner-German borderseparated
Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize physically the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
Not including the similar and physically separate Berlin Wall, the border was 1393 km long and ran from the Baltic Sea to Czechoslovakia.

Fall of the Berlin Wall

fallBerlin Wall fellfall of the wall
After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin.
The fall of the Berlin Wall (Mauerfall), on 9 November 1989, was a pivotal event in world history which marked the falling of the Iron Curtain.

East Berlin

BerlinEastEast-Berlin
The Wall cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including East Berlin.
From 13 August 1961 until 9 November 1989, East Berlin was separated from West Berlin by the Berlin Wall.

Iron Curtain

the Iron CurtainSinews of PeaceEastern Europe
Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize physically the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
The Berlin Wall was also part of this physical barrier.

Separation barrier

separation wallApartheid Wallbarrier
The Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer, ) was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.
Several erected separation barriers are no longer active or in place, including the Berlin Wall, the Maginot Line and some barrier sections in Jerusalem.

Eastern Bloc emigration and defection

defectorEastern Bloc defectorsEastern Bloc emigration restrictions
Before the Wall's erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin; from there they could then travel to West Germany and to other Western European countries.
This was closed with the erection of the Berlin Wall in August 1961.

West Germany

West GermanFederal Republic of GermanyGermany
Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize physically the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards German reunification.

Eastern Bloc

Soviet blocCommunist BlocSocialist Bloc
Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize physically the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany.
The fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Warsaw Pact spread nationalist and liberal ideals throughout the Soviet Union, which would soon dissolve at the end of 1991.

Berlin U-Bahn

U-BahnBerlinsubway
Those caught trying to leave East Berlin were subjected to heavy penalties, but with no physical barrier and subway train access still available to West Berlin, such measures were ineffective.
Although the system remained open to residents of both sides at first, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent restrictions imposed by the Government of East Germany limited travel across the border.

Berlin outer ring

Outer ringBerlin Outer Ring RailwayAußenring
Construction of a new railway bypassing West Berlin, the Berlin outer ring, commenced in 1951.
Without the completion of the outer ring it would not have been possible to build the Berlin Wall, sealing off West Berlin, without disrupting East Germany’s transport links.

Potsdamer Platz

PotsdamerplatzPotsdamer Platz RedevelopmentReplica of the traffic tower of 1924
Generally, the Wall was only slightly inside East Berlin, but in a few places it was some distance from the legal border, most notably at Potsdamer Bahnhof and the Lenné Triangle that is now much of the Potsdamer Platz development.
After developing within the space of little over a century from an intersection of rural thoroughfares into the most bustling traffic intersection in Europe, it was totally destroyed during World War II and then left desolate during the Cold War era when the Berlin Wall bisected its former location.

German reunification

reunification of Germanyreunificationreunified
The "fall of the Berlin Wall" paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on 3 October 1990.
The wall had stood as an icon for the political and economic division between East and West, a division that Churchill had referred to as the "Iron Curtain".

Revolutions of 1989

fall of communismthe fall of the Iron Curtaincollapse of communism
In 1989, a series of revolutions in nearby Eastern Bloc countries—in Poland and Hungary in particular—caused a chain reaction in East Germany that ultimately resulted in the demise of the Wall.
Soon new crossing points were forced open in the Berlin Wall by the people, and sections of the wall were literally torn down as this symbol of oppression was overwhelmed.

Willy Brandt

BrandtChancellor BrandtMayor Brandt
The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the "Wall of Shame", a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt in reference to the Wall's restriction on freedom of movement.
From 3 October 1957 to 1966, Willy Brandt served as Governing Mayor of Berlin, during a period of increasing tension in East-West relations that led to the construction of the Berlin Wall.

List of Berlin Wall segments

many segmentssegmentsegment of the Berlin Wall
This version of the Wall is the one most commonly seen in photographs, and surviving fragments of the Wall in Berlin and elsewhere around the world are generally pieces of the fourth-generation Wall.
Many segments of the Berlin Wall have been given to various institutions since its fall on November 9, 1989.

Combat Groups of the Working Class

Kampfgruppen der ArbeiterklasseKdABattle group
During the construction of the Wall, National People's Army (NVA) and Combat Groups of the Working Class (KdA) soldiers stood in front of it with orders to shoot anyone who attempted to defect.
The KdA was disbanded by the Volkskammer after the opening of the Berlin Wall in late 1989.

Republikflucht

fledrefugeesattempting to leave East Berlin
However, following the defection of large numbers of East Germans (known as Republikflucht) under this regime, the new East German state legally restricted virtually all travel to the West in 1956.
Republikflucht applied to both the millions of Germans who migrated legally from the Soviet occupation zone and East Germany before the Berlin Wall was built on 13 August 1961, and the thousands who migrated illegally across the Iron Curtain until 23 December 1989.

Walter Ulbricht

Ulbrichtnational leadershipleadership
The direct cost of manpower losses to East Germany (and corresponding gain to the West) has been estimated at $7 billion to $9 billion, with East German party leader Walter Ulbricht later claiming that West Germany owed him $17 billion in compensation, including reparations as well as manpower losses.
When Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave permission for a wall to stop the outflow in Berlin, Ulbricht had the Berlin Wall built in 1961, which triggered a diplomatic crisis and succeeded in curtailing emigration.

Thierry Noir

Graffiti artist Thierry Noir has reported having often been pursued there by East German soldiers.
Thierry Noir is a French artist who is claimed to be the first street artist to paint the Berlin Wall.

National People's Army

NVAEast German Armyarmy
During the construction of the Wall, National People's Army (NVA) and Combat Groups of the Working Class (KdA) soldiers stood in front of it with orders to shoot anyone who attempted to defect.
The NVA did not see significant combat but participated in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, deployed military advisors to communist governments in other countries, and manned the Berlin Wall where they were responsible for numerous deaths.

Checkpoint Charlie

Berlin Crisisborder guardfamous crossing point
The best known was the vehicle and pedestrian checkpoint at the corner of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße (Checkpoint Charlie), which was restricted to Allied personnel and foreigners.
Checkpoint Charlie (or "Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War (1947–1991).