About the Death Belt Around the Berlin WallIn the Bernauer Street in North Berlin, there is the the official memorial site for the Berlin Wall (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer). Here you can see a section of the original Berlin Wall, along the length of the historic "Death belt" section, the area where East German soldiers guarded, equipped with watchtowers and lighting equipment, shooting anyone trying to move towards to West Berlin for freedom. From a nearby watchtower, you can watch the death belt. There is also a documentation center for the history of the wall and along the street are explanatory signs displayed in a kind of open museum, which deals with the Berlin Wall and the escapes from it, and displays with arrows the escape tunnels dug underneath.
About the Wall that Divided Europe and the Whole WorldThe Berlin Wall was a very long fence, about 155 kilometers long, that served as a buffer between West Germany and East Germany in the period after the end of World War II. East Germany was a communist state, which was ruled after the war by the Soviet Union and did not allow its inhabitants free movement to Western Berlin and the rest of the free world.
From the famous wall that surrounded the city of Berlin and divided it, only a few fragments remain, which are evidence of the period in which it divided the two areas, the eastern and the western parts of the city.
Throughout Berlin you can follow the outline of the Berlin Wall with a brick track that runs across the city and marks the places where it once passed.
About the History of the Construction of the Berlin WallIt all began in August 1961, when the Russians, who then ruled East Germany and East Berlin, began to build a barrier between the part controlled by them and the one controlled by the West. Thus Berlin was divided into two parts: East Berlin and Western Berlin.
Initially the Berlin Wall was only a fence, but soon the forces of East Germany began to replace it with a wall. Many watchtowers were erected along the wall and eight border crossings were set up, which did not allow the residents of East Germany to move to the west.
Thus the Berlin Wall was built, which was about 155 kilometers long. It divided the city between east and west and became the unofficial symbol of the Cold War. Its presence created a split among the city's residents and many tried to escape over the years. Most of these escape attempts ended with death.
In 1989, about 28 years after its establishment, the wall was toppled, and Germany was reunited into one state.
To this day, small sections of the wall remain, as evidence of the folly of its construction, and the route of the wall is marked all through Berlin, with metal plates posted throughout the city, with the German inscription "Berliner Mauer.”
How was the Berlin Wall Taken Down?The 1980's were marked by years of crisis among the Warsaw Pact countries, the Soviet-controlled states. It all began with the economic crisis itself. When the pact countries weakened they were opened freely, under the policy of its leader, Gorbachev, the Communist-inspired regimes in Eastern Europe collapsed. One of them was the communist regime of East Germany.
The toppling of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989, about 28 years after its establishment, marked the fall of the Communist regime in East Germany and was the signal for the reunification of divided Germany. It was also one of the most significant symbols for the collapse of the Communist bloc, and the victory of the West in the so-called Cold War.
At the same time period, the German reunification brought about the fall of the wall caused considerable concern for the future. In particular, the world worried about a situation in which Germany might again become a superpower that would threaten the free world. In the meantime, Germany has become one of the leaders of the free and democratic world, and learned from the lessons of the past all too well.