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November 10, 2014

Amazing Black and White Photos of the Building of the Berlin Wall in 1961

In an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin. Construction of the wall caused a short-term crisis in U.S.-Soviet bloc relations, and the wall itself came to symbolize the Cold War. Below is a collection of amazing black and white photos of the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

In this Aug. 1961 file photo, an East German worker lays some of the first stone blocks of the Berlin Wall, shortly after the border between East and West Berlin was sealed. (AP Photo, File)

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

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

A car rides between US tanks, in October 1961, across the famous border of the American sector in Berlin, at Checkpoint Charlie crossing point, the only one in the Berlin Wall between East (Soviet sector) and West Berlin (American sector). (Photo /AFP/Getty Images)

Sightseers climb onto a bus to look at the newly-built Berlin Wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

West Berliners peering through the Berlin Wall into the Eastern sector near Check Point Charlie. The newly erected wall has no barbed wire only tubes which make it difficult to gain a handhold should anyone try to climb over. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

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

Soldiers of the East German National People's Army (NVA) erecting barbed wire fences to close off a street in preparation for the construction of the Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 14th August 1961. The first concrete emplacements were erected on 17th August. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

West Berliners at right watch East German construction workers erect a wall across Wildenbruchstrasse and Heidelbergerstrasse in West Berlin in August 1961. (AP Photo)

East German soldiers, left, set up barbed wire barricades August , 13, 1961. (AP Photo)

An East German couple is turned away from the border, blocked by East German soldiers and barbed wire, after trying to cross into West Berlin, Aug. 13, 1961. (AP Photo/Edwin Reichert)

East German tanks are lined up at Warschauer Bridge in Berlin, Germany on August 13, 1961. (AP Photo)

Members of the East German military remove paving blocks on Friedrich Strasse in East Berlin August 13, 1961. (AP Photo)

Two men only dress with their swimming trunks are covered with blankets and smoking a cigarette after they manged to flee across the high security border seperating Berlin to the West at a refugee camp in West Berlin Marienfelde swimming across the river Spree on Aug. 13, 1961. (AP Photo/Peter Hillebrecht)

Workers protected by East German police mix concrete to build walls along the sector dividing East and West Berlin August 18, 1961. (AP Photo)

East German build cinder block wall in East Berlin as the divided city continued in stage of unrest August 18, 1961. (AP Photo)

West Berliners at right gather at barrier between east and West Berlin August 18, 1961, watching movements of East German Police. (AP Photo)

East German National People’s Army soldiers man an unfinished part of the Berlin Wall on August 18, 1961 at the town’s sector division in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Fritz Reiss)

Blocking the church – Two East German workers working on a huge 15 feet hight Wall put pieces of broken glass on the top to prevent East Berliners from escaping. (AP-Photo/Kreusch)

Wooden boxes, used by the couple at left to overcome height of problem in Berlin August 28, 1961. (AP Photo/Worth)

The East Berlin authorities have put their emblems on small flags on the concrete wall at the Invalidenstrasse crossing point between the British and Russian sector border in Berlin on Sept. 9, 1961. (AP Photo/E.Reichert)

West Berliners, at right, talk with East Berlin policemen through the barbed wire fence at the border in Germany in Sept. 1961. (AP Photo)

Near Wiener Brucke in kreuzberg district East Berliners sitting on a warm summer day on benches and others were waving to friends in West Berlin on Sept. 6, 1961. (AP Photo/E. Reichert)

Border situation West Berliners looking and waving to friends living in East Berlin at formerly wiener bridge in Kreuzberg district Sept. 6, 1961. (AP Photo/E. Reichert)

An East Berlin policeman puts bricks in place as the Berlin Wall is heightened to 15 feet, 5 m, separating East and West Berlin, Germany, on Sept. 9, 1961. (AP Photo)

East German soldier carries a big roll of barbed wire along the border separating the British and Soviet sectors of Berlin August 21, 1961. (AP Photo)

West Berliners, at right, talk with East Berlin policemen through the barbed wire fence at the border in Germany in Sept. 1961. (AP Photo)

West Berliners, with their backs to camera, watch East Berliners unload prefabricated concrete plates to reinforce the Berlin Wall at Wilhelm St. in Berlin, Germany on Sept. 12, 1961. (AP Photo/Worth)

East Berlin Police, behind concrete wall, spray water on area where East Germans escape into West Berlin on Sept. 14, 1961. (AP Photo)

At sector border Sebastian Strasse where the American sector borders the Soviet East Berlin workers erecting strong street lights behind the concrete border wall in Berlin Sept. 19, 1961. (AP PhotoE.Reichert)

Behind concrete wall with barbed wire east Berliners removing their furnitures in Berlin Sept. 20, 1961. (AP Photo/Reichert)

East Berlin workers started to reinforce the concrete walls at sector border in Berlin Sept. 25, 1961. Here is a long wall at sector border Zimmer Strasse with new steel bars connected with barbed wire. In the left the east sector of Berlin. (AP Photo/E.Reichert)

In the foreground, French Military Police, left, West Berlin alert police, right, and West Berlin custom officials are on guard in front of the concrete wall on the western side of the Berlin Wall in the French sector near Schoenholz, Germany, on Sept. 27, 1961. In the background behind the concrete wall and barbed wire fence are East Berliners working on cable. Beyond them East German soldiers guard the border. (AP Photo)

East Berliners use a crane to place concrete glass on wall along border between East and West Berlin Sept. 28, 1961. View of Zimmerstrasse near the Friedrichstrasse crossing point in the divided city. (AP Photo)

East Berliners use a crane to place concrete glass on wall along border between East and West Berlin Sept. 28, 1961. (AP Photo)

An East Berlin soldier secures a steel bar to hold the barbed wire atop the Berlin Wall on sector border in Berlin near Friedrichstrasse in Germany on Sept. 30, 1961. (AP Photo)

East Berlin laborers work on “Death Strip” which communist authorities created on their side of the border in the divided city on Oct. 1, 1961. (AP Photo)

A West Berlin guard stands in front of the concrete wall dividing East and West Berlin at Bernauer Strasse as East Berlin workmen add blocks to the wall to increase the height of the barrier, Oct. 7, 1961. (AP Photo)

Nailed together planks are placed into position by East Berlin soldiers as they labor to reinforce trench (foreground) along the East-West border of Berlin at Neukoelln-Baumschulenweg in the southern part of the city on Oct.9, 1961. (AP Photo/Werner Kreusch)

East German soldiers sharpen wooden stakes as they rush work to reinforce trench along Berlin’s East-West border at Neukoelln-Baumschulenweg in the southern part of the city on Oct. 9, 1961. (AP Photo/Werner Kreusch)

West Berliners watch the incidents at the U.S. Army checkpoint at the Friedrichstrasse where an American car and two sightseeing buses were barred entry by Communist East Berlin police, in Berlin on Oct. 25, 1961. (AP Photo)

East German workmen guide crane lowering concrete block into position to make wall in front of Brandenburg Gate in East Berlin on Nov. 19, 1961. (AP Photo)

Behind wall at border Stresemann and Kothener Strasse East German soldiers erecting tetrahedrons tank barriers made of streetcar tracks in Berlin Nov. 20, 1961. Background three American soldiers looking over the wall into West Berlin. (AP Photo/ Kreusch)

West Berlin police stand guard behind barbed wire along the new 250-yard massive concrete wall at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, Germany, on Nov. 23, 1961. (AP Photo)


  1. :')
    I must admit I start to cry at some point. Happy birthday, Deutschland!

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  4. Some very interesting photographs here, but not all captions are accurate. Missing from all reports on the 60th anniversary of securing the state border in Berlin is always the tremendous efforts made by West Germany and West Berlin to subvert the GDR economically, technically and politically. The division of Germany, and of Berlin, was at the behest of the western powers in the 1940s. Korea and Vietnam also suffered this fate..




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