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  • I'm here in Potsdamer Platz, a public square in the center of Berlin where east and west once met.

  • In the years following the second world war, Germany was divided between the allied nations.

  • Britain, America, and France occupied West Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany, the FRG.

  • East Germany became a satellite state of the Soviet Union known as the German Democratic Republic or GDR.

  • Germany's capital, Berlin, was situated deep within East Germany but was similarly divided with American, British, and French sectors in West Berlin and the Soviet sector in East Berlin.

  • Beneath my feet is a line, which demarcates where an impenetrable border once stood.

  • It was called the Berlin Wall.

  • The Berlin Wall divided the city for 28 years.

  • It was constructed on the 13 of August 1961 to prevent the movement of people from communist East Berlin and East Germany into democratic West Berlin.

  • A Border already existed, but this new physical barrier meant that the city was completely separated.

  • The speed at which this happened came as a shock to residents from both sides.

  • Its construction parted families, destroyed buildings, and changed the entire cityscape.

  • Here are some of the original Berlin Wall sections on display in Potsdamer Platz.

  • When the berlin wall was first constructed it was formed of bricks, barbed wire, and concrete blocks.

  • But by the 1980s, large section of it was much more sophisticated.

  • L-shaped reinforced concrete slabs like this one were lined up alongside each other to create a solid structure over 3 meters high.

  • However, the Berlin Wall was not just one wall; it was two.

  • With an area of land in the middle known as the "death strip."

  • This contained watchtowers, alarmed wire mesh fencing, and anti-vehicle obstacles.

  • All patrolled by armed guards and their dogs and illuminated by floodlights.

  • Despite these complex fortifications, over 5000 successful escapes took place, through the border system between 1961 and 1989.

  • The total length of the Berlin Wall, through the city and around the outskirts, was over 155 km in length.

  • That's 96 miles long.

  • Surprisingly, these sections here are some of the few still standing in Berlin.

  • After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, individual sections were dismantled and sold and can now be found in over 100 locations all over the world.

  • This section of wall was acquired in 1991 by Imperial War Museums and can now be found outside Imperial War Museum London.

I'm here in Potsdamer Platz, a public square in the center of Berlin where east and west once met.

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Berlin Wall 30 | What was the Berlin Wall?

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    eunice4u4u posted on 2019/12/03
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