The building of the Berlin Wall by the GDR started in 1961 directed by Walter Ulbricht. He declared at the international press conference on the 15th June 1961: “Nobody has the intention of building a wall!“
Only two months later, on the 13th August 1961 the armed forces of the GDR began to seal off the border between East and West Berlin. They built separation barriers. The Berlin Wall, called “Antifascist Protection Wall“ in the GDR, was part of the inter-German border for 28 years. Until the 9th November 1989, the day the Wall came down, it divided West Berlin from East Berlin and from the GDR territory which surrounded the whole of Berlin. Many people were killed at their attempts to overcome the 167.8 kilometre long, heavily guarded border fortifications to West Berlin. The exact number of the fatalities is controversial, undocumented yet. According to the latest research, it might be between 136 (aktueller Stand: 140) and 206.
Today, almost thirty years later, on many locations of the Wall strip it is hardly recognizable, that it was there, where the inhuman “Antifascist Protection Wall“ once stood. We located remnants of the Wall between Bornholmer Straße checkpoint and Checkpoint Charlie. On our 3- to 4-hour tour you learn, how the cherry trees got to the former Wall strip next to Bornholmer Straße station, where a ca. 212 metres long original part of the Wall can be found and a replica of the death strip was built. The riddle of “Golden shining rabbits in tarmac“ will be solved as well. You see one of the last original border watch towers (a memorial site now). Here and there a double row of paving blocks in the ground marks the position of the former “Front wall“ to West Berlin.
You can pass through Brandenburg Gate. This isn’t permitted to motor vehicles but allowed to pedestrians, cyclists and similar passers-by. How the “Palace of Tears“ got its name and where is this building located?
On the way back from Checkpoint Charlie to our shop crossing the middle of Berlin we go past many sights such as Friedrichstadt Palace, Museum Island, the New Synagogue or the former Imperial Post Office.