Eine Stadt erinnert sich

Many people still associate 13 August 1961 with ineradicable memories of a time when their lives changed dramatically from one day to the next. Fifty years ago, the post-war division of Germany was permanently sealed by the building of the Berlin Wall. A 160 kilometre-long, military patrolled border split the city in two parts, separating families, friends and neighbours from one another, and severing entire streets, water connections and public transport links. Provisional barbed wire barriers were replaced in the following years by a border system made up of several layers, including walls, expanded metal fences, and the so-called “death strips” with their watchtowers, tank traps and other martial barrier elements. This became world famous as the “Berlin Wall”. The brutality of this wall, the fragmentation of the city, the people’s shock, their stories, but also the hopes on both sides, are the topics of the various events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wa

Memorial ceremony on 13 August 2011

The commemorative ceremony starting at 10.00 a.m. on 13 August 2011 at the Berlin Wall Memorial is dedicated to the victims of the Wall and the division of the city, who are also commemorated in a new outdoor exhibition in Bernauer Strasse. The second part of this exhibition will be opened on the same day. An interdenominational service will be held in the Chapel of Reconciliation, followed by a wreath laying at the memorial. An extensive programme of events will be held on the afternoon of 13 August, including interviews with contemporary witnesses, victims of the Socialist Unity Party regime and other important guests. A ”Contemporary History Information Mile” will give visitors a chance to find out more about the work of victims’ associations, the border area museums and many other initiatives and institutions. There will be an open-air cinema on the grounds of the Berlin Wall Memorial from 11 to 13 August.