Accessibility links

The Rise And Fall Of The Berlin Wall

November 9, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The barrier between the eastern and western sectors of the German city began going up in 1961. On August 13 of that year, East German troops positioned themselves by the Brandenburg Gate and started sealing off the West-controlled part of Berlin. The wall, which ran 155 kilometers around West Berlin, meant almost certain death for those who wanted to cross to escape from the east. Twenty-eight years after it went up, the wall was unexpectedly opened and throngs of East German citizens poured through. The fall of the wall marked the beginning of the end of the communist-led regimes from Central Europe to Russia.

Workers added to the barrier at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin in August 1961 after the border was sealed on the 13th. 
1

Workers added to the barrier at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin in August 1961 after the border was sealed on the 13th. 

Construction work on the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate. The photo was taken on November 20, 1961.
2

Construction work on the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate. The photo was taken on November 20, 1961.

West Berliners walk in front of the Berlin Wall at the American sector's "Checkpoint Charlie" in Berlin, July, 1963.
3

West Berliners walk in front of the Berlin Wall at the American sector's "Checkpoint Charlie" in Berlin, July, 1963.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy during his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner) speech in front of the Schoeneberg town hall in Berlin, June 26, 1963.
4

U.S. President John F. Kennedy during his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner) speech in front of the Schoeneberg town hall in Berlin, June 26, 1963.

The Brandenburg Gate is seen through a barbed wire fence in June 1968. 
5

The Brandenburg Gate is seen through a barbed wire fence in June 1968. 

Picture taken in June 1968 of the famous "Checkpoint Charlie" crossing point, marking the border between East and West Berlin.
6

Picture taken in June 1968 of the famous "Checkpoint Charlie" crossing point, marking the border between East and West Berlin.

A photograph of the Berlin Wall with East Berlin behind, taken in June 1968.
7

A photograph of the Berlin Wall with East Berlin behind, taken in June 1968.

The western side of the wall became a popular canvas for artists from all around the world. The heavily-guarded eastern side remained blank. Photo taken on April 29, 1984. 
8

The western side of the wall became a popular canvas for artists from all around the world. The heavily-guarded eastern side remained blank. Photo taken on April 29, 1984. 

A photograph from July 18, 1986, shows a view of divided Berlin near "Checkpoint Charlie." 
9

A photograph from July 18, 1986, shows a view of divided Berlin near "Checkpoint Charlie." 

Berliners take a hammer and chisel to a section of the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced on November 9, 1989.
10

Berliners take a hammer and chisel to a section of the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced on November 9, 1989.

A lifted border gate as seen from the eastern side of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.
11

A lifted border gate as seen from the eastern side of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.

Citizens from East and West Berlin embrace on November 10, 1989.
12

Citizens from East and West Berlin embrace on November 10, 1989.

East German Trabants make their way down Bavaria's A9 motorway near the former border checkpoint at Rudolphstein on November 11, 1989.
13

East German Trabants make their way down Bavaria's A9 motorway near the former border checkpoint at Rudolphstein on November 11, 1989.

East German authorities grapple with civilians atop the Berlin Wall near the Potsdamer Platz on November 11, 1989.
14

East German authorities grapple with civilians atop the Berlin Wall near the Potsdamer Platz on November 11, 1989.

An East German bulldozer and crane knock down the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz to make way for a new border crossing on November 12, 1989.
15

An East German bulldozer and crane knock down the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz to make way for a new border crossing on November 12, 1989.

XS
SM
MD
LG