Germany Berlin Wall

There has been no more potent symbol of the Cold War than the Berlin Wall, which was erected overnight on 12-13 August 1961. The wall sealed West Berlin within a 165.7km concrete enclosure, protected by sentry towers, bunkers, barbed wire, guard dogs, tripwires, floodlights and anti-tank emplacements. The fortifications appeared without warning, and many families were separated when the previously open border was suddenly sealed. It is estimated that at least 239 people were killed trying to escape. 

In time the wall became a mural for enterprising and amateur artists, many of whom painted humorous or satirical graffiti across the concrete. Every so often, GDR border guards would supervise workers while they whitewashed the wall; only for the graffiti to reappear. The wall could never be silenced, always finding a way to voice the inhumanity that it symbolised. 

The last person killed at the Berlin Wall was Chris Gueffroy in February 1989, a matter of months before it finally fell on 9 November that same year. On our 12 day road trip in East Europe with Danny, Michael and Ian we went on a slight detour to find these parts left of the Berlin Wall, it was hard to imagine it stretching for miles and actually dividing a country. 

Using Format