A brief history… Why a Wall won’t stop Freedom.
Berlin Wall Address: Bernauer Straße 111, Berlin Germany Construction started: Aug 13, 1961 Destroyed: Nov 09, 1989 Purpose: Guarded Concrete Barrier
The Berlin wall was constructed after the end of World War 2 to separate the East from the West. The maximum height of the wall is 3.6m (11.6 feet).
The Berlin Wall was actually two walls. The 27-mile portion of the barrier separating Berlin into east and west consisted of two concrete walls between which was a “death strip” up to 160 yards wide that contained hundreds of watchtowers, miles of anti-vehicle trenches, guard dog runs, floodlights and trip-wire machine guns. The total length of the Berlin Wall was 96 miles, of which approximately 26 miles ran north to south, splitting Berlin in two. The remaining 70 miles kept the enclave of West Berlin. Here are some quick stats about the Wall, near the end of its lifetime in 1989. Total perimeter: 155km. Electric contact or signal fencing: 127.5km. Observation towers: 302. Dog runs: 259. Bunkers: 20, guarded by more than 11,000 soldiers. The so-called Death Strip, which was carved out from East Berlin, varied from 30 to 150 meters in width. Under the blinding floodlights, as well as soldiers and dogs, there were several lines of inanimate obstacles. Among them, signal wire, barbed wire, and a bed of nails. Further along was a trench and anti-tank ‘hedgehog’ traps, in anticipation of a wider conflict. There was also frequently-raked sand strips, which helped the guards, identify if anyone – either an insider or a citizen - had attempted to cross unnoticed.
More than 100 people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall. The Centre for Research on Contemporary History Potsdam and the Berlin Wall Memorial Site and Documentation Center report that at least 138 people were shot dead, suffered fatal accidents or committed suicide after failed escape attempts across the Berlin Wall. Other researchers place the death toll even higher. The first victim was Ida Siekmann, who died on August 22, 1961, after attempting to leap to a West Berlin street below her fourth-floor East Berlin apartment window. The last fatality occurred in March 1989 when a young East German attempting to fly over the wall in a hot air balloon crashed into power lines.
More than 5,000 escaped by going over and under the Berlin Wall. The first defector to escape across the Berlin Wall was 19-year-old East German border guard Corporal Conrad Schumann, who was immortalized on film as he leapt over a 3-foot-high roll of barbed wire just two days after East Germany sealed the border. As the Berlin Wall grew more elaborate, so did escape plans. Fugitives hid in secret compartments of cars driven by visiting West Berliners, dug secret tunnels and crawled through sewers. The three Bethke brothers pulled off the most spectacular escapes. Eldest brother Ingo escaped by floating on an inflatable mattress across the Elbe River in 1975, and eight years later brother Holger soared over the wall on a steel cable he fired with a bow and arrow to a rooftop in West Berlin. In 1989 the pair flew an ultra-light plane over the wall and back to pick up youngest brother Egbert.
The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic, starting on 13 August 1961, the Wall cut off West Berlin from virtually all of surrounding East Germany and East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. Its demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and finished in 1992. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, accompanied by a wide area that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany.
The Berlin Wall stood for nearly 30 years, splitting the city of Berlin into communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin. Born of the splintering of Germany by the Allies at the end of World War II, the wall was a symbol of communist authoritarianism, the most visible element of the Iron Curtain.
Sources: Internet Research on the Berlin Wall
PS: This is why “NO WALL” no matter how Tall, Wide or Deep…will ever stop Desperate People, who have nothing to lose from seeking …FREEDOM!