Sunday marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which divided a nation for almost three decades.
The Berlin Wall, which separated the island of West Berlin from the communist East after it was built in August 13, 1961, was the most potent symbol of the Cold War.
At least 138 people were killed or died at the Wall, most of them while trying to escape.
Did you know:
- November 1960:
The total length was 96 miles (155 kilometres), of which 27 miles ran roughly north-south, cleaving Berlin in two, while another 69.5 miles isolated the enclave of West Berlin from the surrounding East German state.
The concrete pillars reached as high as 3.6 metres and weighed a staggering 2.6 tonnes.
- September 1961:
The No Man's Land or the "death strip" was the area between the two Germanys.
In the inner city the border consisted of an actual concrete wall, the one most commonly recognised as the Berlin Wall.
Around the outer edges of the city the border was marked mainly by fences, watch towers and an empty strip of "No Man's Land."
Over 100,000 citizens of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) tried to escape across the inner-German border or the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1988.
- June 1963:
During his German trip from June 23 to 26, US President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin on June 26.
He told a rally at the Schöneberg Town Hall:
- December 1963:
Berlin Wall became more passable after the pass agreement of December 17, 1963, some 28 months after the building of the Wall.
Citizens of West Berlin could again visit their relatives for the first time around Christmas time. Around 1.2 million visits from 700,000 inhabitants of West Berlin resulted from this.
- June 1987:
During the 750-year celebrations in West Berlin, US President Ronald Reagan said in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate:
- November 1989:
Momentous images of emotional Germans from the East surging through the newly opened border stunned the world in 1989 and a year later, the wall officially came down.
- October 1990:
Although November 9, 1989 is recognised as the date of the fall of the Berlin Wall, official demolition of it did not start until June 13 1990.
Border controls still existed between November 9 and June 13, although were less strict that previously.
Parts of the wall was chipped away by Germans to keep as souvenirs or be sold. People who did this were known as "wall woodpeckers" (Mauerspechte).
All border controls ended on July 1, 1990 and Germany was recognised as one country again from October 3, 1990.
US singer and actor David Hasselhoff was noted for his performance of Looking for Freedom, at the Berlin Wall at New Year's Eve 1989:
More than 70,000 people left the East in January 1990 for West Germany.
- April 1990:
- October 2009:
November 2009 marked the 20th anniversary since the fall of the Wall, in which hundreds of thousands gathered in the Eastern German city of Leipzig for a peaceful vigil.
- November 2014:
Along the former course of the Berlin Wall a new temporary Berlin Wall will be built with thousands of illuminated balloons as part of the celebrations.
According to Berlin.de:
- 100 East German fugitives, who were killed, died by accident, or committed suicide while trying to flee through the border fortifications.
- 30 people from the East and the West, who had not intended to flee, were shot or died in an accident.
- Eight East German border soldiers, who were killed by deserters, comrades, a fugitive, an escape helper or a West Berlin policeman by accident or intentionally while on duty.
At least 251 travellers also died during or after they had gone through checkpoints at the Berlin border crossings.
- Source: Chronik-der-Mauer