Monday, November 9th, 2009 will mark the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down. Built with barbed wire and concrete in August of 1961 by the Communist East, The Berlin Wall, stretching for about 30 miles, was a Cold War symbol which separated East and West Berlin, preventing people from leaving East Germany. According to the “August 13 Association” which specialises in the history of the Berlin Wall, at least 938 people — 255 in Berlin alone — died, shot by East German border guards, attempting to flee to West Berlin or West Germany. It stood for 28 years as a division between the Soviets and the Allies. The wall was torn down after Communism collapsed in 1989. During the summer of 1989, tens of thousands of East Germans fled the communist regime. The photos below show the initial building of the Wall in 1961, the fall of the Wall in 1989 and how the sections of the Wall look today. The last group of photos shows comparisons of how Berlin looked with the Wall and how the city looks now that the Wall is gone.
Two weeks after the East German government sealed off the Soviet-occupied sector, Berlin’s former chief crossing point between East and West, the Brandenburg Gate on “Pariser Platz,” appears as no man’s land, in this aerial view taken from the British sector of Berlin, on August 26, 1961. Seen in the foreground is part of the city’s park “Tiergarten,” divided by the avenue “Strasse des 17. Juni,” behind Brandenburg Gate proceeds the famous boulevard “Unter den Linden,” with parts of a newly erected cement barrier on the left. Further in the background is the cupola of the Berliner Dom, left, and the brick-red Berlin City Hall, or “Rotes Rathaus,” in the center. The neoclassical facade of the former grand Hotel Adlon can be seen on the right.