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

The Great Divide: What the Berlin Wall Separated

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

The Berlin Wall was a physical and ideological barrier that divided the German capital, Berlin, from 1961 to 1989. This imposing structure held historical significance, symbolizing the division between two opposing ideologies during the Cold War era.

Separation of East and West Berlin

Prior to the construction of the Berlin Wall, Germany was divided into two parts: West Germany, officially known as the Federal Republic of Germany, and East Germany, known as the German Democratic Republic. Berlin, although geographically located in the eastern part of the country, was also divided into East and West Berlin.

The Berlin Wall primarily separated East Berlin from West Berlin, effectively cutting off communication and travel between the two parts. It stretched for about 96 miles, encircling West Berlin and consisted of walls, barbed wire, watchtowers, and a “death strip” designed to prevent crossing from East to West.

Ideological Divide

The Berlin Wall was a manifestation of the deep ideological differences between the Soviet Union-led Eastern Bloc and the Western democracies, particularly the United States and its allies. East Berlin, under Soviet control, represented a socialist regime that advocated for state control and central planning, while West Berlin, under the influence of Western powers, embraced capitalism, democracy, and individual rights.

The construction of the Berlin Wall was justified by East German leaders as a necessary measure to protect their territory from alleged Western aggression. However, for many, the Berlin Wall represented a stark symbol of the Iron Curtain, dividing families, friends, and a city that had previously been integrated.

Human Impact

The Berlin Wall not only physically separated Berlin but also had severe human consequences. Families were torn apart, unable to see or communicate with loved ones on the other side. People living in East Berlin were effectively trapped inside the Soviet-controlled territory, restricted from leaving without proper authorization.

Escaping from East to West Berlin was a perilous endeavor, with individuals risking their lives to seek freedom. Many attempted to cross the wall clandestinely, using tunnels, hidden compartments in vehicles, or even by jumping from buildings. The East German government imposed strict measures to prevent escape attempts, including the authorization to shoot to kill those trying to cross the wall.

The Berlin Wall served as a constant reminder of the division and suppression experienced by those living on the eastern side, with limited access to Western culture, consumer goods, and democratic principles.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

After nearly three decades, the Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989, as a result of the political changes and a desire for reunification. The peaceful protests and demonstrations in East Germany, combined with a changing global political landscape, led to the opening of border crossings and eventually the reunification of East and West Germany.

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked a pivotal moment in history, symbolizing the end of the Cold War and the reunification of a divided nation. The demolition of the wall brought joy and hope to millions of people who had longed for freedom and the reintegration of their country.

Legacy and Lessons

The Berlin Wall’s legacy is a testament to the resilience and determination of people striving for freedom and the reunification of their country. It serves as a reminder of the dangers of dividing communities based on ideologies and the oppression that can result.

The Berlin Wall also highlights the importance of unity and collective action in overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The fall of the wall was a result of the combined efforts of individuals, grassroots movements, and changing political dynamics, demonstrating the power of people coming together for a common cause.

To this day, remnants of the Berlin Wall stand as powerful symbols of the triumph of human spirit over oppression. Museums, memorials, and historical sites in Berlin offer visitors a chance to learn about the history and significance of the wall, ensuring that the lessons learned are never forgotten.

Looking back at the history of the Berlin Wall allows us to reflect on the impact of divisions and the importance of fostering understanding, dialogue, and unity in our increasingly interconnected world.

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