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the division between East and West Berlin for almost 30 years
German and Soviet troops began erecting the Berlin Wall during the night of August 13, 1961. By the time Berliners awoke the following morning the border between West and East Berlin had been closed and troops had begun tearing up streets and laying barbed wire entanglement and fences. By August 14, a stone wall topped with barbed wire had closed off the Brandenburg Gate. Concrete elements and large square blocks began going up on August 15, and by August 26 the entire border between West and East Berlin (and the rest of Eastern Germany) had been closed.
The Wall was twice "improved" over the next three decades. In 1965, the concrete elements and square blocks were replaced by concrete slabs between steel girder and concrete posts, with a concrete sewage pipe running along the top of the Wall. In 1975, these slabs were replaced by new concrete segments which were easy to build up and were more resistant to breakthroughs and environmental pollutants.
On November 9, 1989, East Berliners succeeded in their decades-long attempt to open the wall. The Brandenburg Gate re-opened on December 22, and The Wall officially came down when Germany formally reunited on October 3, 1990.
By the time the Wall came down more than 239 persons had been killed trying to get into West Berlin.
Total length -- 96 mi (155 km)
Height of concrete segment wall --
11.81 ft (3.6 m)
Number of watch towers -- 302
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This page was last updated on 09/27/2017.