GigaPica : #Mauerfall2014: The Berlin Wall 1961

September 17, 2016 – 11:56 am

On 9 November 2014, Berlin celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Mauerfall. Two cities were united on that faithful night in 1989, effectively clearing the way for Germany to reunite. The Iron Curtain fell, the GDR collapsed and not long after the Soviet Union followed that example. Communism and socialisme gave way to Unionism, and the road ahead brought open borders in Europa, a single currency and wealth beyond belief. Until, of course, the European monetary crisis began in 2008. Added to the current threat of a Cold War revival due to the inflammable situation in Ukraine, Europe is once again reminded that freedom doesn't come cheap. Good thing that we will always have these images of the Wall coming down to remind us what freedom really means.

Above: Six photos from the summer of 1961, when East Berlin was closed off and construction of the Wall began.

62F8E7F6_C95B_47D9_A253_CB94B9BA92C2_w974_n_s.jpgFile picture dated 15 August 1961 showing East German Volkspolizist (People's Army officer) Conrad Schumann fleeing with a jump over a barbed wire bar from the Soviet sector into West Berlin. He was the first of the GDR people's army who fled to the West, while early Sunday morning on August 13, 1961, East Germany was starting to build the Berlin Wall.

Picture dated 18 August 1962 in Berlin showing East German border guards carrying the body of an 18-year-old East German boy Peter Fechter who was shot in the back as he tried to climb the Berlin Wall and then bled to death while the East German guards looked on. Five thousands angry West Berliners protested marching along streets near the Wall 20 August 1962.

A file picture dated 17 August 2962 shows GDR border soldiers carrying the corpse of Peter Fechter, who had been shot dead shortly before by comrades during an attempted escape across the Berlin wall, Germany. An explicit shoot-to-kill order for GDR border guards has for the first time been found in a document at the Stasi archives in Magdeburg. The order demanded heedless weapons use, even against women and children.

0681322A_DA0F_4AE2_A739_B908442C9D7C_w974_n_s.jpg Ruth Fechter (l) and Gisela Geue, sisters of Peter Fechter who was the first escapee in 1962 to be shot dead by East German border guards, stand next to the new Peter-Fechter memorial during a commemoration ceremony in Berlin Friday 13 August 1999, on the 38th anniversary of the construciton of the Berlin Wall.

A woman poses in front of a segment of the 'Berlin Wall' (1961-1989) at the 'Bernauer Strasse Memorial' in Berlin, Germany, 10 August 2007.

Picture dated March 1965 of "Checkpoint Charlie" crossing point, the only one in the Berlin Wall between East (Soviet sector, background) and West (American sector) Berlin used only by the foreigners.

A picture taken 29 April 1984 shows various graffiti painted on the Berlin Wall on the West Berlin side while East German and Soviet flags (R) fly on the other side of the East Berlin no-mans-land spiked with anti-tanks traps

The Berlin Cathedral (R, Berliner Dom) and the Palast Der Republik (Palace of the Republic), the former Communist east German parliament building, are reflected in the river Spree in Berlin 09 January 2006. It was torn down shortly after this photo was taken.

GDR leader Erich Honecker visits Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in the Huis ten Bosch palace in The Hague, June 4, 1987.

EC82F054_BB48_41C8_B41C_F02EA65F64FB_w974_n_s.jpg FDE0E320_F8DC_41DB_981F_CC2E20FF96F8_w974_n_s.jpg ANP_6112581.jpg ANP_785930.jpg


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