Berlin was the former capital of the Third Reich-run Germany. Germany was divided into East Germany and West Germany. During the mid 20th century, thousands of East Germans migrated to West Germany in search of new job opportunities. East Germans moved through West Berlin. At the same time, West Germans crossed over to East Germany to shop, as the prices of many of the consumer goods were significantly low. The history of the Berlin Wall begins towards the end of World War II. Remember, Germany was literally divided into two parts - the East and the West, where East Germany followed the ideologies of "Communism", while West Germany followed "Democracy".
Berlin Wall Facts
The Berlin Wall was the symbol of the "Iron Curtain" that existed between the Eastern and Western Europe. An interesting fact is that the Wall of Berlin divided the East and the West Germany for twenty-eight years and one day.
The original Berlin Wall was only a barbed wire that prevented the East Germans from migrating or crossing over to West Germany. The Berlin Wall caused hardships to the families on both sides of the wall. There were many East Germans who were employed in West Germany. Many families on either side were separated from their loved ones.
The barbed wires were installed with the approval of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The government of East Germany had issued shoot-at-sight orders to the border security troops to prevent migration to West Germany.
The physical construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 15, 1961. The Berlin Wall was approximately hundred miles long. The space in between the west and east of the Berlin Wall was known as the "Death Strip".
The Berlin Wall evolved over years. Initially, it was only a barbed wire fence. Later, it was made into a concrete wall. Over time, border towers and bunkers and other deterrents were set up.
In 1975, the third generation wall was replaced with the fourth generation wall. The fourth generation wall was very tall and had smooth pipes running on the top.
The total length of the Berlin Wall around West Berlin was 155 km, and the border between East and West Berlin was 43.1 km. Another fact you need to know is that the borderline between East Germany and West Germany is 112 km long.
The concrete segment of the Berlin Wall was 3.6m high and 106 km long, while the wire mesh fencing was 66.5 km.
Did you know there were anti-vehicle trenches, which were 105.5 km long? The column track of the Berlin Wall was 6-7 m wide and 124.3 km long. There were three-hundred and two watchtowers and twenty bunkers.
Hungary dissolved its border restrictions with Austria. Thirteen-thousand East Berliners escaped to West Germany through the Hungarian borders. This is considered as a major change in the history of the Berlin Wall. This event took place on August 23,1989.
The Wall went down in November 1989. Technically, this demolition procedure tool two years, from June 1990 to 1992. The common public of East Germany revolted against the government. They gathered near the Berlin Wall and used sledgehammers and other tools to demolish the great Berlin Wall into pieces.
Only the Brandenburg Gate was left as a remnant of the edifice and its significance on the whole of Germany. The Brandenburg Gate is located near the infamous Checkpoint Charlie. This location is known as the Berlin Wall Museum.
The demolition of the Berlin Wall paved way for the reunification of Germany. East and West Germany were reunified on October 3, 1990. The citizens of the country were jubilant as both the divisions of Germany became one again. Today, the nation is one of the most popular and successful countries of the globe.