Original Section of the Berlin Wall

In 1945, Germany was divided up into four occupation zones by the victorious Allied Powers of the Second World War. The German capital Berlin was divided up into four military sectors. The three western sectors of Berlin were located in the Soviet occupation zone, which became the GDR (East Germany) in 1949. For political reasons, the USA, Great Britain and France maintained a military presence in West Berlin, which they were entitled to under the original agreement with the Soviet Union from 1945.

In the 1950s, many people left the GDR and resettled in the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). Among the emigrants were many doctors, scientists, engineers, skilled workers, young people, etc., who were sorely missed by the East German economy.

The GDR closed the border between East and West Germany in May 1952. West Berlin, however, still remained accessible to East Germans and was a showcase of the West. Finally, the GDR started to build the 156.4 km long "ring around West Berlin" on 13th August 1961. In the end there were not only 100 km of Berlin Wall, but there was also an inaccessible border strip of differing width with guard towers, dog cable runs, floodlight, etc. The border troops of the GDR went on patrol with the order to shoot to prevent escapes.

West Berlin was linked to West Germany by transit connections (motorway and railway) and by three air corridors, but was now isolated from the surrounding countryside of Brandenburg.

Following the collapse of the GDR regime in 1989/90, the border installations were removed again in a very short time. In several locations, however, original sections have been preserved as monuments, reminding of the German division during the Cold War.

The photo shows the preserved section of Berlin Wall on Niederkirchnerstrasse.