Saturday, June 22, 2013

Old Photos of The Berlin Wall from 1950's-60's

The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc's authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.

On a day when the Berlin Wall is open, throngs of West Germans wait for friends and relatives to arrive from the Eastern sector. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images). 1960

East German military personnel supervising construction of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images). August 1961

A tear gas grenade explodes next to an East German armoured car during riots on the first anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). Circa 1960

Dieter and Monika Marotz of Bernauerstrasse, Berlin, wave to relatives after their wedding, 8th September 1961. The newlyweds live in the western sector of Berlin, while their relatives living on the same street are in the Eastern sector and unable to attend the ceremony. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Relatives of newlyweds Dieter and Monika Marotz of Bernauerstrasse, Berlin, wave to the couple after their wedding, 8th September 1961. Although the Marotz's and their relatives live in the same street, their houses are in the western and eastern sectors, respectively, of the divided city, leaving them unable to be at the ceremony together. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A boy stands on a coal scuttle to peer over the wall of a sports stadium in Berlin, 8th January 1951. (Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Boys bring buckets to stand on for a view over the wall of a sports stadium in Berlin, 8th January 1951. (Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

West Berlin policemen and East German Volkspolizei face each other across the border in Berlin, circa 1955. (Photo by Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Families and friends, once neighbours, now stand divided and wave across to each other over the Berlin wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1961

Two little girls in a West German street chat with their grandparents in the window of their home in the eastern zone, separated only by a barbed wire barricade. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 14th August 1961

A citizen of East Berlin peers through barbed wire at a West Berliner over the Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1960s. The mass immigration of Germans from Communist Berlin to Western Berlin inspired East Germany military leader Erich Honeker to construct the blockade, a barricade of concrete walls, mine fields and guard posts that stretched for 100 miles. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A woman is lowered from a window in Bernauer Strasse on a rope to escape into the western sector of Berlin after the post-war division of the city. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 10th September 1961

Soldiers building the Berlin Wall as instructed by the East German authorities, in order to strengthen the existing barriers dividing East and West Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1961

Posters of Nikita Khrushchev, Walter Ulbricht, Wilhelm Pieck and the East German Premier Otto Grotewohl on an East Berlin Wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 28th August 1961

Russian soldiers leaving the British sector march back into the East Sector, after laying wreaths on the Soviet monument in West Berlin on the 43rd anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The Brandenburg Gate is on the right. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 7th November 1960

Soldiers outside the entrance to Berlin's Potsdamer Platz underground station next to a section of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images). Circa 1961

East German troops and police seal off the frontier between East and West Berlin with barbed-wire to control the flow of refugees. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 15th August 1961

Walter Ulbricht (1893–1973) first Secretary of the Communist Party of East Germany and deputy Premier of the German Democratic Republic. He is reviewing workers, known as “Industry Combat Groups” who are building the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Members of the Volkspolizei, the East German national police, check an elderly man's papers at the Berlin Wall, 11th September 1961. Only those whose houses are adjacent to the wall are allowed within 100 meters of it. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Soviet tanks and troops at Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing point in the Berlin Wall between the American and Soviet sectors of the city at the junction of Friedrichstrasse, Zimmerstrasse and Mauerstrasse, February 1961. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)



American tanks and troops at Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing point in the Berlin Wall between the American and Soviet sectors of the city at the junction of Friedrichstrasse, Zimmerstrasse and Mauerstrasse, February 1961. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

Two mothers can only wave to their children and grandchildren in the Soviet sector of Berlin from across the Berlin wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1961

1 comment:

  1. It was Walter Ulbricht who decided to built the Wall, not Honecker.

    ReplyDelete