Berlin Wall

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Related to Berlin Wall: cold war, Berlin airlift, Cuban Missile Crisis

Berlin Wall,

1961–89, a barrier first erected in Aug., 1961, by the East German government along the border between East and West Berlin, and later along the entire border between East Germany and West Germany. At first constructed of barbed wire, the wall was built to halt large numbers of defections and to prevent East Berliners from commuting to the West. Erected at a time of growing tension between East and West, the barrier was eventually replaced by a concrete structure topped with wire and studded with watchtowers manned by East German soldiers. In 1989, after hundreds of thousands of East Germans had fled westward via Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the beleaguered East German regime lifted travel restrictions on Nov. 9, and days later the dismantling of the wall began. Built to keep people in, the wall was dismantled in a failed gamble by the Communists to keep power. By Jan., 1990, the regime was auctioning off large slabs of the wall for hard currency, and had set December for its total demolition. In Oct., 1990, however, East Germany was formally absorbed into the Federal Republic of Germany and only short sections of the wall remained standing, as memorials.


See F. Taylor, The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961–1989 (2007); W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (2009).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Boro fan and roadie for bands on tour said: "I was in Berlin for work - I'm currently working with U2 - and was just across the road from the old Berlin Wall.
As Wilke so precisely demonstrates, the decision to build the Berlin Wall was not Ulbricht's to make; he required the support of the Soviet Union to close the border.
In a united Germany, the Berlin Wall is a fading memory.
A photo expo showcasing the history of the Berlin Wall on the sidelines of the signing ceremony.
We're the happiest people in the world and we're thrilled that you brought the Berlin Wall down 25 years ago," Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit said as the first balloons were sent aloft.
Inset left, three year-old Hulda puts flowers in a crack of the former Berlin Wall |during a poignant ceremony.
Hours before this story was published on the AP wire, Starcevic had been the first to report the wall's destruction with a flash bulletin: ''East Germany began tearing down the Berlin Wall on Friday.
The beginning of the end for the Berlin Wall was in the summer of 1989.
BREAKTHROUGH East and West Germans celebrate on top of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the border was thrown open in 1989
With the slogan "25 Years - 25 Stories" the capital's marketing campaign be Berlin invited Berlin's entrepreneurs to tell their personal company story and to explain how the fall of the Berlin Wall influenced the development of their company.
THE man who opened the Berlin Wall will tonight tell a Liverpool audience the hours leading up to the historic moment were the "most terrible and happiest night of my life".
And there was no greater symbol of Communist repression and isolation than the Berlin Wall.