In Germany, the construction of the Berlin Wall is celebrated, today exactly 60 years ago. There are many memorial services in the city, including the Church of Reconciliation on Bernauer Straße, where the wall stood until 1989. Federal President Steinmeier and two women who witnessed the construction will speak up close. Wreaths for people who did not survive a flight from East Berlin to West Berlin were also laid over the Wall. There were definitely 138.
East Berlin was the capital of the Communist German Democratic Republic. In 1961 the economy was on the verge of collapse. Many citizens are also tired of censorship and fear of the secret police, the Stasi. The border between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic has been closed, but the border between East Berlin and West Berlin, belonging to the Federal Republic, has not yet been closed. Thousands of GDR citizens took advantage of this to flee to the West.
The leaders of the German Democratic Republic wanted to stop mass immigration. They decided to build a 155-kilometre wall around West Berlin. It was sold to its residents as an “anti-fascist firewall”, intended to ward off malign influences from the capitalist West.
We previously made this video about the construction of the Berlin Wall and its predecessors:
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”