Back

The Berlin wall is one of the most famous sights of the German capital. It is a symbol of the separation of the two systems - capitalist and socialist, that post-war Germany faced.

As a result of World War II in 1945, Germany was divided into two zones of occupation: Soviet and Western (the United States, Great Britain, and France). According to the terms of the Yalta conference, Berlin was also divided into two zones of occupation. The division of Berlin was made cross the streets and houses in the city. Residents of one street in one day woke up in West Berlin, and others in East Berlin. Many families and friends who lived in different parts of the city were separated. 

Until 1949, the division of occupation zones was just juridical. There were no actual borders in the city. The metro was still running through both parts of the city. In 1949, realizing the impossibility of uniting the Germany back, the USSR and Western countries initiated the creation of separate countries – FRG and GDR. There appeared a state border between them, but there was still no border in Berlin.

The Marshall plan gave a powerful impetus to the development of the West German economy. In a very short period the standard of living became significantly higher than in the GDR. East German citizens began fleeing East to the West via Berlin. This was very easy to do. You had to get on a subway train in East Berlin, move to the West, apply for emigration. There were three airports in West Berlin, so it was easy to fly from Berlin to the main territory of Germany.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Germans left East Germany, and this threatened the existence of the GDR. Therefore, in 1961, it was decided to build the Berlin wall, which completely blocked the crossing of the state border. Its length was 155 kilometers.

The Berlin wall lasted until 1991, when it was dismantled after Gorbachev and Kohl`s decision to reunite the two Germanies into a single state. Today, only two sections of the Berlin wall have been preserved, which have become memorials.

A very long section of the 1.3 km Wall is preserved on Bernauer Strasse in the Mitte district near the Spree river. It was painted by artists from all over the world. A small section of the Wall can also be viewed on Niederkirchen Strasse, next to the Topography of Terror Museum. In this Museum, you can see an exhibition of photographs and documents from the Third Reich.

advertising - continued below