10 Interesting Facts about the Berlin Wall

One of these following facts about the Berlin Wall should probably give you much information about this wall. The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. For further information, to get you to know more about this wall, below are some facts about the Berlin Wall you might be interested in.

Facts about the Berlin Wall 1: Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart

The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” by GDR authorities, implying that neighboring West Germany had not been fully de-Nazified. The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the “Wall of Shame” while condemning the Wall’s restriction on freedom of movement.

Facts about the Berlin Wall 2: Preventing East Germany from Entering West Germany

The Berlin Wall was constructed as a way of preventing East Germans from entering West Germany. It was not so much a boundary for West Germans wanting to enter the East, who were able to do so by obtaining a permit several weeks in advance. It didn’t face much opposition by the western powers as its construction confirmed that the Soviet Union were not planning to take over West Berlin.

Facts about the Berlin Wall - Berlin memorial

Facts about the Berlin Wall – Berlin memorial

Facts about the Berlin Wall 3: Crossing the Border

Official figures show that at least 136 people died trying to cross the border. People attempting to get from East to West were regarded as traitors and guards were instructed to shoot at them if they attempted to cross, although not to kill them.

Facts about the Berlin Wall 4: Graffiti

The west side of the Berlin wall was covered in graffiti. The East side was not.

Facts about the Berlin Wall - Berlin Wall

Facts about the Berlin Wall – Berlin Wall

Facts about the Berlin Wall 5: Propaganda Disaster

The Berlin Wall was something of a propaganda disaster for the Soviet Union and East Germany. It showed the communists to be tyrannical in the way they controlled the movement of their people and their willingness to shoot at people they considered to be traitors.

Facts about the Berlin Wall 6: Getting Rid of Rubbish

West Berliners used the Berlin Wall as an ideal way of getting rid of rubbish. If they had anything that needed throwing away, they threw it over the wall. After all, it wasn’t as if they would be made to go over it to fetch it back.

Facts about the Berlin Wall - East Berlin 'Death Strip'

Facts about the Berlin Wall – East Berlin ‘Death Strip’

Facts about the Berlin Wall 7: Looking for Freedom

Michael Knight himself, David Hassellhoff, is huge in Germany. The Hoff performed his hit “Looking For Freedom” while standing on the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Facts about the Berlin Wall 8: Checkpoint Charlie

Despite there being a wall separating East from West, there were a number of checkpoints that allowed passage to and from the two sides. The most famous of these was Checkpoint Charlie, a checkpoint separating the American-controlled zone of West Berlin from the Soviet-controlled East Berlin. The guard house for Checkpoint Charlie was removed in October 1990 and is now situated in the Allied Museum in Berlin-Zehlendorf.

Facts about the Berlin Wall - Kennedy in Berlin

Facts about the Berlin Wall – Kennedy in Berlin

Facts about the Berlin Wall 9: Demolition of the Wall

Although November 9th 1989 is recognised as the date of the fall of the Berlin Wall, official demolition of it didn’t start until June 13th 1990. Between November 9th and June 13th, border controls still existed, although were less strict that previously. Parts of the wall was chipped away by Germans to keep as souvenirs/sell on eBay. People who did this were known as “wall woodpeckers”. Some parts of the wall had been taken down but only to make way for more crossing points.

Facts about the Berlin Wall 10: Opposition

In some European capitals at the time, there was a deep anxiety over prospects for a reunified Germany. In September 1989, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pleaded with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev not to let the Berlin Wall fall and confided that she wanted the Soviet leader to do what he could to stop it.

Facts about the Berlin Wall - Structure

Facts about the Berlin Wall – Structure

Hope you would find those Berlin wall facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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