Germany travel guide



Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Wall

Germany: Explore Berlin
The construction of Berlin wall began at August 13, 1961. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) took this decision to close the border between East Berlin (Soviet-occupied) and West Berlin (occupied by the Americans, British and French). With the wall, many families were split and East Berliners had to leave their jobs or other activities in the West Berlin. The wall was made with concrete and its dimensions were of 12 feet high and 103 miles long, in the east side many soldiers and tanks guarded the crossing points, especially the Checkpoint Charlie. In 1962 a second parallel fence with 91 meters was made further into East territory, between the two barriers was created a “no man’s land”, later known as the “death strip”.

In the next years, many people tried to cross the wall, but soldiers had order to stop anyone who did it. So, people who wanted to escape began to create new strategies like underground tunnels which were the most successful way. On the other hand, people who tried to climb the wall were shot, the most famous case was of the eighteen years old Peter Fetcher, he was hurt to death and nobody could help him under the amazed look of the world’s media.

Germany: Explore Berlin In 1989, after Hungary permitted East Germans to pass through the country to Austria and West Germany, more than 13,000 East Germans escaped. Because of this, the leader of East Germany Erich Honecker resigned and was changed by Egon Krenz. Many people went to the streets to protest and request the destruction of the wall; finally on November 9, 1989 the East German Minister of Propaganda Günter Schabowski announced the new regulations that allowed East Berliners to cross the border with proper permission. Hundreds of thousands of people went to the crossing points to demand their rights and cross to the West side, the soldiers surprised for the news had to open the checkpoints and allowing people through with no identity checking; other people began to demolish the wall and keep parts as souvenirs. The wall was officially dismantling on June 13, 1990, the process lasted more than one year and only a few small sections were left as monuments.

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