That’s How They Build The Berlin Wall 1961-1989

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After the end of the Second World War 1945, Berlin city becomes the front line for a different kind of war, the Cold War and That’s How They Build The Berlin Wall 1961-1989

For nearly 40 years Europe was divided between the democracies of the West the communist states of the east and Berlin was worth two sides met

When Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945 Berlin was separated into four parts by the Allied Powers and the Soviet Union

As post-war Germany started to rebuild, two countries were formed from the rubble a free market and democratic West Germany and a communist-controlled East Germany under the influence of Russia; despite growing tensions between West and East Berlin, Berliners were able to move between the two halves of the city to go to work school or visit family and friends until one night in August 1961

Manfred Fischer: Priest

Overnight East German soldiers sealed off the border, which in the two halves of the city, « I walked workmen supervised by true putting the finishing touches to the cement curtain who with no heat German compartment.»

« The first and mainshock we had was 62 when they built the wall right through a city it was not an ordinary wall around the city to be well protected from enemies but it was a prison wall through the city and we did believe this we thought there is a responsibility of all the four allies and they will hold this city together but nobody did anything »

Boyfriends and girlfriends parents and children whole families suddenly found themselves on opposite sides of the wall even streets became divided

Thomas Klien : Berlin Wall Document Center

« The ball divided the street so for example, a young man and the young girl who laughed each other couldn’t see each other anymore when the wall was built because the wall was built exactly at the street and neighbors families they could see each other, but they couldn’t go to each other because the wall divided the street and I think this is a symbol for divided Berlin for divided Europe and for the divided world in at that time «

Houses along the border were bricked up people made desperate bids to escape across the border into the West some even died trying teenager Peter

Fischer was the first to lose his life shot by border guards

« We saw Peter fester bleeding and nobody helped him he was right in front of the American soldiers’ nobody helped him it was on the other side of the world »

Over the next few years, the authorities strengthened the barriers, and it became known as the Berlin Wall. You can see the first barrier where after the graveyard after this there was an electric fence, but if you touched it, you had no idea what happened if you are somebody who wants to flee but the soldiers in the watchtower they got a signal that there is somebody and then comes the inner wall which was not so high and behind this inner wall there was something like on the floor with needles on it so if you jumped over the inner wall you landed in needles ten centimeter high needles then the original death strip with bunkers and soldiers they got permitting from the system from the government to shoot to everybody who is near there

As the Berlin Wall became harder to cross, people came up with more and more ambitious ideas to help friends and families escape from East Berlin

Some houses are where one of the most dramatic scapes took place group of students from the West spent months building a tunnel 135 meters long under the wall and into the cellar of this house in East Berlin

Joachim Rudolph: Tunnel Builder

« The TLR Contin’s are sharing a whoever vine creation then munches after via Borden gonna have not everyone was able to crawl into such a tight tunnel some said we would like to help we’re happy to do hard labor, but we can’t enter such a tight tunnel especially not as we know that will be under East German territory and our thought would focus on what would happen if the tunnel would be discovered or we would be trapped.» That’s How They Build The Berlin Wall 1961-1989

Evelina Rudolph: Tunnel Escapee

« An inside lung as often Arriba zazen people who dug the tunnel lay on both sides they calmed the refugees down stay calm they said to avoid panic, and they passed my baby along we had to crawl on all fours it might have been possible to do this on your own, but it was calming and we called for 135 or 136 meters and climbed up the stairs then I fainted for the first and last time in my life then my child arrived, and the whole situation was totally exceptional.»

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