Berlin Wall: dozens of pieces discovered in trash heap | Press Releases | DW | 03.08.2016
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Berlin Wall: dozens of pieces discovered in trash heap

Dozens of segments from the wall were now discovered in a trash sorting facility in Berlin by a Deutsche Welle reporter.

The find comes just a few days before the 55th anniversary of the wall's erection. The company responsible for the trash facility has not ruled out a sale of the pieces at a later time.

A number of companies were tasked with the demolition and disposal of the 155-kilometer long wall after its use as a boundary dividing the former East and West Germany came to an end in November 1989, according to Uwe Küber, head of waste management company Alba, who explained the history of the bits of the wall. In this case, the pieces were not destroyed and disposed of. Instead they were and still are being used as separating and supporting elements as valuable materials such as plastic and iron are sorted.

Pieces of the former Berlin Wall are highly sought after. Large pieces have been known to sell for more than 10,000 Euros. "We wanted initially to re-use the pieces of the wall and have been waiting until they have grown in value. When it gets that far, then we will sell them and make a good business out of it," said Küber.

Gerhard Sälter of the Berlin Wall Memorial organization, Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, has confirmed the authenticity of a majority of the pieces. Some of the criteria used to determine the authenticity includes a segment height of 3.6 meters.

The discovery of the pieces in the garbage dump did not come as a big surprise, Sälter said. "When the deconstruction of the wall began in the spring of 1990, it wasn't something that held any special value for people." East and West Berliners as well as politicians had simply "had enough." The appeal made by former Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1989 to hold onto pieces and set them under protected heritage status was met with little agreement. Sälter does not, however, see the current location of the Berlin Wall as one lacking in respect. The wall, in the minds of many Germans after 1989, "had always belonged in the trash."

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