Berlin Wall, from 1961 to 1989/90, a strictly guarded military barrier system along the sector border (demarcation line) around West Berlin. Visit ask4beauty for Europe overview.
The wall was built by the GDR since August 13, 1961 with the support of the Warsaw Pact states under the name “Antifascist protective wall” using the GDR’s army, combat groups and people’s police (part of the inner-German border); it sealed off Berlin (West) hermetically and was intended to stop the steadily increasing flow of refugees from the GDR and Berlin (East), because about half of all refugees from the GDR between 1949 and 1961 came to Berlin via the previously uncontrolled crossings in Berlin Federal Republic of Germany.
Plant and expansion
Initially built as barbed wire barriers and with trenches (also with the expropriation of land), then expanded to form a concrete wall and constantly renewed from 1965 (about 4 m high concrete slab wall or metal mesh fence, up to 5 m deep trenches, barbed wire obstacles, mines, 302 observation towers, walkways for guard dogs, Motor vehicle trenches and anti-tank barriers; most recently over 100 m wide), the Berlin Wall had a length of 43.1 km through Berlin and 111.9 km in the urban area along the border between Berlin (West) and the GDR.
Since the border organs of the GDR – border troops and the German People’s Police – made use of firearms within the scope of the shooting order given to them (in almost 1,700 cases in total), attempts to overcome the border barriers were often fatal. Over 3,200 arrests were made at the Berlin Wall, over 5,000 attempts to escape or “lock breakers” were successful.
Opening and dismantling
In connection with the political upheavals in the GDR, after a surprising announcement by the press spokesman for the SED Politburo, G. Schabowski (* 1929, † 2015), on the late evening of November 9, 1989, people forced the opening of the Berlin Wall (November 9th, 1989)). Since December 24th, 1989, citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany and Berlin (West) have been allowed to pass the Berlin Wall and the borders with the GDR without a visa or a compulsory exchange (“minimum exchange” per day of visit since 1980). On July 1st, 1990 the border controls were suspended.
The dismantling of the Berlin Wall began in November / December 1989 (breakthrough of new crossing points); After a demolition decision by the GDR government and the Berlin magistrate, the border security systems were dismantled from January, but officially not until June 13, 1990 (around 45,000 concrete segments; recycling in souvenir sales and road construction); it was ended on November 30, 1990 in the inner-city area, in the outskirts of the city, essentially by the end of 1991. Remnants were preserved in 6 places as memorials or memorials (including the 1.3 km long “East Side Gallery” on Mühlenstrasse in Berlin-Friedrichshain). The »Wall Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, founded by West Berlin publicist Rainer Hildebrandt (* 1914, † 2004), has existed since 1962«; Another memorial has been located on Bernauer Strasse since 1998 (since 1999 with the »Berlin Wall Documentation Center«).
Berlin Agreement, abbreviation for the four-power agreement on Berlin, also four-sided agreement on Berlin, a treaty between the Western Powers (France, Great Britain and the USA) and the USSR, concluded on September 3, 1971 in Berlin; confirmed the responsibility of the four powers for Berlin and their rights there while preserving their different legal conceptions. The Berlin Agreement laid down the main features of the political ties and transport links between Berlin (West) and the Federal Republic of Germany and included the following provisions on issues that have been disputed since 1948/49: 1) The transit traffic of civilian goods and people between Berlin (West) and the Federal Republic Germany; 2) the maintenance and development of the ties between Berlin (West) and the Federal Republic of Germany while maintaining the legal status, that Berlin (West), as before, is not part of the Federal Republic of Germany and will not continue to be governed by it; 3) the improvement of travel and communication opportunities between Berlin (West) on the one hand and Berlin (East) and the GDR on the other; 4) the exchange of smaller pieces of land; 5) the representation of Berlin (West) abroad by the Federal Republic of Germany, the extent of the presence of federal authorities and the consular activity of the USSR in Berlin (West).
The Berlin Agreement was a framework agreement; it was filled out by special agreements between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR (transport contract, basic contract) and became legally binding on June 3, 1972 with the entry into force of specific agreements between the Federal Republic of Germany and Berlin (West) on the one hand and the GDR on the other, v. a. the transit agreement (Berlin question).
For Berlin (West), the Berlin Agreement brought about a contractual safeguarding of its livelihoods, which had previously been repeatedly endangered, but its status was not changed, its inclusion in the economic, financial and legal system of the Federal Republic of Germany continued as well as that of the Western powers within the framework of the four-power responsibility Supreme authority exercised for the whole of Berlin in Berlin (West). In additional declarations it was regulated that the interests of Berlin (West) were to be represented by the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany in the GDR. – The Berlin Agreement was signed with the restoration of German unity and the reunification of Berlin (October 3, 1990) as well as the renunciation of the four Powers’ rights and responsibilities in relation to Berlin and Germany (»declaration of suspension«.