How and why the Berlin Wall was built
The deadly obstacle that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989
© Getty Images
Built on the orders of East German communist politician Erich Honecker to stem the mass emigration of Germans from East Berlin to West Berlin, the Berlin Wall was a heavily guarded barrier that physically and ideologically divided the city from 1961 to 1989. In a wider context, the wall came to symbolize the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It was constructed in just two weeks, initially as a makeshift barbed wire and concrete block wall. But it was soon strengthened and reinforced to serve as a deadly obstacle to anyone seeking freedom in the West.
In this gallery, click through and be reminded of how quickly the Berlin Wall went up, and the way it cut an entire city in two.
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