Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

A Tale of Division and Reunification: The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

So, you’re curious about the Berlin Wall – a symbol of division and later reunification. In this article, we’ll explore when the Berlin Wall started and ended, and all the significant events that shaped its history.

The Construction of the Berlin Wall

In the aftermath of World War II, Germany, once a powerhouse, was divided into four occupation zones controlled by the victorious Allies: the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France. Berlin, the German capital, was also divided into four sectors, each controlled by one of the Allied powers.

Tensions between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies escalated during the Cold War, as ideological differences hardened the division between East and West. In an attempt to stem the flow of emigration from East Germany to West Germany through Berlin, on August 13, 1961, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) began the construction of the Berlin Wall.

The Berlin Wall was made up of concrete segments, barbed wire, watchtowers, and a ‘death strip,’ a heavily fortified area that made crossing the barrier almost impossible. Its purpose was to prevent East Germans from fleeing to West Germany, where living conditions and political freedoms were perceived to be higher.

The Years of Division

The Berlin Wall stood as a physical and ideological divide between East and West Berlin for almost three decades. Families were separated, friendships severed, and dreams shattered as the two sides found themselves trapped on opposite sides of the Wall.

While it is challenging to pinpoint an exact starting point for the Berlin Wall, its construction in 1961 marks a significant milestone. For the people of Berlin, the Wall became a constant reminder of the division and suppression they endured.

However, through the years, attempts to escape the Eastern Bloc persisted. Many risked their lives to overcome the Wall’s barriers, using methods as daring as hot air balloons, tunnels, or simply finding vulnerabilities in security checkpoints.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

The years of division came to an end on November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall finally fell. A series of events, both political and social, culminated in the reunification of Germany and marked a historic moment in international relations.

The catalyst for the fall of the Berlin Wall was the change in political climate within the Eastern Bloc, particularly in East Germany. Mass protests demanding political freedom escalated, pressuring the GDR government to make reforms. In a televised press conference, GDR spokesman Günter Schabowski mistakenly announced that East Germans could freely cross the border. This declaration, albeit unintended, led to an unprecedented surge of people swarming the checkpoints.

The End and Reunification

The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for the reunification of East and West Germany. The process of reunification began in earnest in 1990, and on October 3, 1990, Germany was officially reunified. This date is commemorated annually as the Day of German Unity.

Reunification required immense effort, both in terms of political negotiations and economic integration. The differences between East and West Germany were pronounced, but over time, the divide was bridged, and the country regained its status on the world stage as a unified nation.

Legacy and Lessons Learned

The Berlin Wall serves as a poignant symbol of division, but ultimately, it teaches us about the indomitable spirit of people striving for freedom. It stands as a constant reminder of the importance of unity, understanding, and the dangers of ideological or physical barriers.

Today, remnants of the Berlin Wall can still be found in Berlin, serving as a testament to the tumultuous past and a poignant reminder of the perseverance and resilience of the human spirit.


The Berlin Wall, constructed with the intention of separating East and West Berlin, lasted from 1961 to 1989. Its fall marked a pivotal moment in history and led to the reunification of Germany. The story of the Berlin Wall is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit and a reminder of the importance of unity and freedom.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free