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August 13, 2011 / jmeuropeana

Berlin Wall is put up

On the 13th of August –

the construction of the Berlin Wall begins in 1961. Its objective was to prevent people from the GDR to emigrate to the BRD – effectively turning the GDR into a state-sized prison. Only weeks before Ulbricht had said ‘Nobody intends to build a wall’ – people like him give politicians a bad name:

But on the 13th of August a provisional wall was indeed built, later to be reinforced and perfected until it was virtually unscalable:
Politischer Brief

Patrouillengang von NVA-Grenzsoldaten an der Staatsgrenze zu Westberlin/Berliner Mauer am Brandenburger Tor

Details and original documents surrounding the construction of the Berlin Wal can be found here.

Not until Christmas 1963 could people form West-Berlin pass the wall again to meet their family on the other side, and then only if they had the right ‘Ausweis’:
Grenzübergang Oberbaumbrücke Berlin
The division of Berlin lasted until 1989:
Menschenmassen Grenzübergang Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin

Films such as ‘Goodbye Lenin’ and ‘Liebe Maur’ speak of the strange period directly before and after the breakdown of the wall.

Today, only very limited parts of the wall remain – as a monument to ideological stupidity.


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