5 Interesting Berlin Wall Facts

After the Second World War, the allies had divided Germany into two parts, namely, East & West Germany and converted into two nations to support their political ideologies. West Germany followed capitalistic principles, while East Germany followed communism.
Berlin Wall Facts

Some interesting Berlin Wall Facts

  • Fall of Berlin Wall was due to confusion & mistake: Gunter Schabowski, a politburo member of East Germany on 9th November 1989, at the press conference had announced prematurely of lifting up of travel visa restrictions. But the policy required the East Germans to undergo lengthy visa application procedure. With thousands of East Germans moving towards the wall, insults were hurled by seniors on the chief officer Herald Jager who was on duty, opened up the gates only to be followed by the others. It was fuelled only by Schabowski’s confusing answers combined with erroneous reporting by the media.
  • There were two walls: Two concrete walls that ran about 27 miles separated West & East. A ‘death strip’ of about 160 yards wide comprised of anti-vehicle trenches, hundreds of watchtowers, trip-wire machine guns, floodlights and guard dog runs between the walls.
  • Over 100 people died while crossing the Wall: According to reports, 138 people had been shot dead, committed suicide or suffered fatal accidents after trying to escape across the wall. Ida Siekmann, the first victim died on 22nd August 1961 after he tried to leap into the West Berlin street from her East Berlin, 4th-floor apartment window. In March 1989 died an East German who attempted to cross the Wall.
  • Once the Brandenburg Gate was part of the 18th-century wall: The much iconic arch that straddled West & East Berlin had once served as the popular backdrop for presidential speeches by Ronald Reagan and Kennedy. It had been commissioned by Frederick William II, the Prussian King. Brandenburg on completion in 1791 had been incorporated in original Customs Wall of the city, there initiating its start during the 1730s.
  • The wall was known as ‘Antifascist Bulwark’ by East Germans: East German government had claimed that the wall had been erected to keep out Western fascists, ideas and spies out. After two weeks of ‘Antifaschistischer Schutzwall’s’ construction, Walter Ulbricht, the East German leader had claimed to seal off all the cracks and closing of holes to ensure that the German people’s worst enemies were kept out.

The above are few of the interesting unknown facts about the Berlin Wall.

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