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 Historic Fall of the Berlin Wall: A Turning Point in History

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin


The Berlin Wall, an iconic symbol of the Cold War, stood tall and divided the city of Berlin for 28 years. Construction of the wall began on August 13, 1961, and it wasn’t until November 9, 1989, that the world witnessed an extraordinary event – the fall of the Berlin Wall. This historic event marked the end of an era and led to significant changes in Europe and the world at large.

The Context: The Cold War and Division of Berlin

In the aftermath of World War II, Germany was divided into four zones, controlled by the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France. The city of Berlin, located in the Soviet zone, was also divided into four sectors. While the West prospered and embraced democracy, the East fell under the iron grip of the Soviet Union, creating a stark contrast between the two.

The tensions between the East and the West escalated during the Cold War, as ideological differences between the United States and the Soviet Union intensified. In an effort to stem the flood of East Germans fleeing to the democratic West, the government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) sealed the borders of East Germany. However, the isolated city of Berlin remained accessible for East Germans seeking freedom.

Construction of the Berlin Wall

The decision to build the Berlin Wall came after a series of failed attempts to stabilize the situation. On August 12, 1961, barbed wire barricades were placed along the border, separating East and West Berlin. The next day, construction of the concrete wall began, turning a once-free city into a divided metropolis.

The concrete wall, which ultimately spanned 96 miles, was backed by a heavily fortified border known as the “death strip.” This strip included trenches, fences, guard towers, and a no-man’s land monitored by armed soldiers with shoot-to-kill orders. The Berlin Wall became a symbol of the division between capitalism and communism, splitting families, and symbolizing the iron curtain that ran across Europe.

Conditions in Divided Berlin

Life in divided Berlin was vastly different depending on which side of the wall you resided in. In West Berlin, citizens enjoyed the freedoms and prosperity of a democratic society, with access to consumer goods, higher salaries, and a more liberal way of life.

On the other hand, life in East Berlin was characterized by strict control, constant surveillance, limited travel opportunities, and a struggling economy. East Germans faced shortages of basic supplies, limited career prospects, and restricted freedom of expression. The Berlin Wall served as a physical manifestation of this stark contrast and a constant reminder of the limitations imposed by the GDR.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall: A Peaceful Revolution

Although the division and control enforced by the Berlin Wall seemed impenetrable, forces were at play that would ultimately lead to its downfall. In the late 1980s, a wave of changes was sweeping across the Soviet Union and its satellite states. New leadership emerged with a more liberal approach, sparking hopes for reform and greater individual freedoms.

On November 9, 1989, an East German government official made a premature announcement regarding travel regulations. He stated that East Germans would be allowed to cross the border freely, leading to an unprecedented surge of people towards the crossing points. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of citizens demanding passage, the guards finally opened the checkpoints. The Berlin Wall, that physical and ideological divide, crumbled as people climbed over, chipped away at it, and jubilantly celebrated its demise.

The Aftermath and Reunification

The fall of the Berlin Wall was a euphoric moment for Berliners and the world. From that day forward, the reunification of Germany became a realistic and achievable goal. The wall had served as a painful reminder of the division and suppression felt by the German people, and its destruction sparked hope for a brighter future.

In the years following the fall of the wall, negotiations and preparations took place to facilitate the reunification of East and West Germany. On October 3, 1990, the German Democratic Republic was officially absorbed into the Federal Republic of Germany, and the process of rebuilding began. This marked the end of an era and a significant turning point in history.


The fall of the Berlin Wall was a remarkable event that shaped global politics and marked the end of the Cold War era. It symbolized the triumph of democracy, freedom, and human resilience over oppression and division. The reunification of Germany brought about positive changes for the German people and signaled the possibility of political transformations in other parts of the world.

The Berlin Wall stands as a reminder of the power of unity and the human desire for freedom. It is a testament to the strength and determination of those who fought for the basic rights we often take for granted. The fall of the Berlin Wall serves as a lesson in the importance of upholding human rights, fostering open dialogue, and striving for a world without barriers.

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