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Berlin Wall

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 all crossing points between West and East Berlin had been closed.

East Berliners examine the wall soon after its construction in 1961
East Berliners examine the wall soon after its construction in 1961

the wall closing off the Brandenburg Gate
the wall closing off the Brandenburg Gate

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.

Basic Facts

Total length -- 96 mi (155 km)
Border between East and West Berlin -- 27 mi (43.1 km)
Border between West Berlin and East Germany -- 69 mi (111.9 km)

Height of concrete segment wall -- 11.81 ft (3.6 m)
Length of concrete segment wall -- 66 mi (106 km)
Number of concrete segments -- 45,000
Total weight of concrete segments -- over 2.5 tons

Number of watch towers -- 302
Number of bunkers -- 20

WEB SOURCE
Berlin Wall Online www.dailysoft.com/berlinwall/

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The Robinson Library >> General and Old World History >> Germany >> Berlin

This page was last updated on 04/12/2017.