Berlin Wall Construction
A Long Lasting Process

Berlin Wall construction lasted years being a permanent process of construction and reconstruction which devastated GDR budget and did not bring total happiness to the involved parties.



The construction was started on August 13, 1961. It was started at night from Saturday to Sunday.

Remarkable thing about the decision to start construction of the Berlin Wall was that official representatives of GDR- German Democratic Republic, exactly GDR head of state Walter Ulbricht, rejected suspicious question about possible Berlin Wall construction.

They had denied it until that day in August 1961. when they had to announce the start of the Berlin Wall construction.

The problem of losing or not the face was not the main thing when it was about a total collapse.




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The Wall had several versions starting from temporary barriers which were put up at the border to separate the Soviet sector or East Berlin from West Berlin.

A lot of people were involved from police, transport police and special groups of workers militias, as they were called.

The date was chosen taking into consideration that in summer children and students and many other working people had holidays. And those who worked had had a week end. That was why it was not noticed immediately by the population.



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Over the time the Wall was altered several times and finally became a strongly guarded object which was very difficult to cross.

What was the reason to construct the Berlin Wall?

Around 2.7 million people left the GDR and East Berlin between 1949 and 1961. The threat was to rule a country with very few citizens.

And that was not acceptable for almost collapsing GDR having every day more and more leaving for good population mostly young people with a good education.




Facts about the Berlin Wall in figures:

  • Total length of the border 155 km
  • Inner-city border between East and West Berlin 43 km
  • Border between West Berlin and the GDR (“outer ring”) 112 km
  • Border crossings between East and West Berlin (roads/railway) 8
  • Border crossings between the GDR and West Berlin (roads/railway) 6
  • Observation towers 302
  • Bunkers 20
  • Dog runs 259
  • Anti-vehicle trenches 105,5 km
  • Contact or signal fences 127,5 km
  • Border patrol roads 124,3 km

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