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Constructing the Wall

August 13, 2006

Aug. 13 marks the 45th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall, which became the symbol for the division of Germany until its fall in 1989. Check out DW-WORLD.DE's special dossier with eyewitness accounts.

Remnants of the Wall todayImage: AP

It could have been an uneventful, hot Sunday in summer, remembered by Berliners as a nice day at the lake or a fun afternoon with relatives over coffee and cake. But Aug. 13, 1961 became a date that entered the history books around the world as the East German communist regime began to erect a virtually impermeable border around the western part of the city.

For the next 28 years, the Berlin Wall stood as a silent reminder of Germany's division and the GDR's declaration of bankruptcy as a state that could only hold onto its citizens by locking them in.

To mark the 45th anniversary of the construction of the Wall, DW-WORLD.DE has put together this dossier, which includes interviews with eyewitnesses -- a West Berliner, an East German and a US soldier, a story on the rebirth of Berlin's central Friedrichstrasse, a visit to the famous Checkpoint Charlie museum and the latest study on the number of people who died trying to cross the Wall.

Click on the links below to find out more, and review the Wall's history in our picture gallery.

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