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Ceremonies Mark 55th Anniversary Of Berlin Wall Construction

Germany's capital has marked the 55th anniversary of the start of construction of the Berlin Wall that divided the city for nearly three decades.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller laid a wreath on August 13 at the main Berlin Wall memorial and attended a prayer service at a chapel that was erected on the former border strip.

The country was divided into capitalist West Germany and communist East Germany after World War II.

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet-influenced German Democratic Republic began building a wall through Berlin on August 13, 1961, and soon fortified the 1,400-kilometer border that separated East from West Germany.

The 155-kilometer Berlin Wall stood until November 1989, and at least 138 people died while trying to cross it during its 28 years.

Based on reporting by dpa, and AP