Berlin Wall separated East and West Berlin for 28 years. The Wall symbolized control and division. Explore some amazing Facts About Berlin Wall below!
The Wall was constructed in 1961. It was taken down in 1989. It separated East as well as West Berlin and East Germany. There were guards stationed at the Wall to keep individuals from crossing the Wall.
When the Wall was constructed, both sides of the Wall could freely move between and across the Wall. It was a gradual change even in the system of transportation that carried people between the two sides.
The Wall was built with no prior notice and resulted in a brawl when people attempted to cross to remain on the left side or with their families.
Facts About Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall separated families and made others unemployed, especially East Berliners. The West was also not pleased and protested the construction of the Wall.
These are 10 of the most important facts regarding the Berlin Wall.
1. The Wall was constructed following World War II.
The meetings held in Yalta, in addition to Potsdam, were two of the most important peace conference of World War II.
Following this conference, it was in which it was decided that the Berlin Wall be built after an agreement was reached. Participants were in agreement to split Germany into four.
These four regions were held by the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the former USSR.
Berlin, located in the Soviet region, was also divided.
From 1961 up to 1961, people would frequently travel between East Germany to West Germany.
According to estimates, around 3.5 million people emigrated from East Germany to West Germany. Around 1,000 people crossed over every day in 1961.
Nikita Khrushchev, who issued the order to build the Wall, did it in order to stop the exile of workers.
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2. The Wall began as concrete blocks and barbed wires.
The idea of having the Wall constructed was a surprise. Berliners awakened to an obstacle made of barbed wires coiled along with concrete bricks.
The Wall’s construction was completed on the 12-13th of August in 1961. The Wall was 96 miles (154.5 km) long and stood between 15 and 115 inches (4.57 meters) tall.
In between the walls constructed, there was a dead strip of 160 feet.
Watchtowers were found in 302 locations, 20 bunkers, 55,000 land mines, 2,59 dog runs, and machine guns activated via tripwires.
When the Wall was first constructed, only people with valid documents were allowed to pass through the checkpoints.
3. Hundreds of people died walking across the Wall.
Many people died while trying to traverse the Wall. About 300 people perished as they crossed the Berlin Wall to West Germany, and a handful of them were women.
People who did not get through were either captured or killed. Five thousand people were captured, and at most 38 were killed.
Some fell fatally due to suicide attempts after unsuccessful escape attempts. The first death recorded due to an accident is Ida Siekmann on August 22, 1961. She tried to jump from the fourth floor of her apartment in East Berlin to West Berlin.
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4. There was no official order to tear down the Wall.
On November 9, 1989, Gunter Schabowski, who was the official spokesman for the government, is believed to have misread his notes at the press conference.
In his speech, he said that the government had allowed Germans from the East to move to the West immediately and without delay.
The announcements were intended to be posted for the following day, and those permitted to cross the border had to obtain an entry visa.
The border guards were overwhelmed, and without instructions on how to proceed, they opened the gates, and People eager to get across were coming into West Berlin.
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5. The Berlin Wall was compared to the rigid U.S immigration policies.
Factions that sided with Communists, as well as those who sided with the Soviets in the Cold War, compared the Berlin Wall to the U.S immigration policy.
At the time U.S president Ronald Reagan visited Berlin in 1982, he was quoted as declaring that Berlin’s Wall was not constructed of iron in order to keep people out but to keep them in. The Wall was later mentioned by it as a bleak symbol of oppression at the United Nations meeting.
In 1987, in his address during the Brandenburg Gate, President Reagan demanded the Wall be demolished.
6. Berlin Wall was brought down with any tool, even bare hands.
Following the press conference of Gunter Schabowski, the elated and cheering crowds walked towards the Wall and tore it down with the smallest device they could get their hands off.
They made use of shovels, sledgehammers, hammers, and their own hands. When the Wall came down, thousands of citizens from the East moved toward West Berlin.
A minimum of two million came to West Berlin that weekend to celebrate the occasion in the streets.
7. A lot of people have climbed over the Wall.
The people who traversed over the border from the East towards the West were viewed as rebels. The first person who managed to escape was 19-year-old corporal Conrad Schumann, a guard at the East German border.
The soldier jumped over three feet of barbed wire just two days after East Germany closed the border.
Others, desperate to escape the Eastside, came up with ways to cross the border in secret. Some concealed themselves in compartments in cars, others constructed tunnels, while others walked through sewers.
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Three brothers are renowned for their most innovative escapes. One made use of an inflatable mattress over the river. The other was able to cross the river using the form of a steel cable which was fired using an arrow and bow, and later, the older brothers came to help their younger brother using one of the lightest planes.
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8. East Germany had a name for the Wall.
It was claimed by the East German government claimed that the Wall was constructed to deter foreign fascists and spies.
After the Wall was completed After the Wall was built, it was East German leader Walter Ulbricht claimed that the Wall had sealed the cracks that were in the fabric of their homes and that it sealed the gaps that their most feared enemies used to enter Germany.
The wall was christened “Antifaschistischer Schutzwall.”
9. Berlin Wall was built to protect people.
The Berlin Wall was intended to keep people from East Berlin. It was built and secured to deter Germans from traveling into the West for work.
East Germany ensured that they had military personnel stationed along the entire border with the West. They were home to 1 million landmines and more than three hundred guard dogs.
10. Two walls comprised the Berlin Wall. Berlin Wall
It is true that we hear only about the Berlin Wall, not the Walls. There were actually two walls constructed across the one.
The 27-mile-long concrete Wall separated Berlin between East and West. Between these walls lay a section of land referred to as”the Berlin Wall death strip or no-man’s-land.
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On this strip, guards were permitted to shoot anyone trying to make an escape.
The Berlin Wall was used to represent an era of Cold War and manifest what they called the iron curtain that separated communism and democracy.