Berlin Wall

Barbara J. Feldman

In 1945, after World War II, Germany was divided by the victors into two countries. East Germany was controlled by the communist regime of the Soviet Union. West Germany was a democracy supported by the U.S. The former capital city of Berlin, although it was entirely within East German borders, was also partitioned in two. In 1961, the East Germans erected a 103-mile barrier to separate East Berlin from West Berlin. The Berlin Wall blocked free access in both directions for twenty-eight years. In November 1989, the Wall was opened, and East German citizens could once again travel without restriction to the West.

  • Berlin Wall Memorial5 stars

    Located in the middle of the city, the Berlin Wall Memorial "contains the last piece of Berlin Wall with the preserved grounds behind it and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s." You can visit it virtually, via video, photographs and articles that cover everything from the construction of the wall, to its fall and eventual demolition.

  • Chris De Witt's Berlin Wall Site4 stars

    "A few steps. From one world to the other. We are in pre-1990 Berlin, Friedrichstrasse, Checkpoint Charlie. Our world has Coca-Cola, Mercedes cars, holidays abroad, and changing governments. A few meters up the street, we enter their world of state-owned factories, grey apartment blocks, an imposed monolithic government and a command economy selling pale imitations of popular western products." Chris De Witt writes about his fascination with the Berlin Wall and his travels there during the eighties.

  • PBS Newshour: Kennedy and Reagan at the Berlin Wall5 stars

    On June 26, 1963, in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech that paid tribute to the Berliners' quest for freedom. The crowd roared with approval upon hearing the President's dramatic words, "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner). Twenty- four years later, President Ronald Reagan made an appearance at the Berlin Wall and challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" to demonstrate his commitment to profound change.

  • Newseum: The Berlin Wall5 stars

    My pick of the week site comes from the Newseum news museum in Washington DC. It contains three multimedia exhibits exploring the divided city of Berlin, and an essay about freedom of the press in Germany. "In May 1945, as World War II ends, the four Allied Powers — the U.S., Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union, each with an occupation zone — prohibit all means of public communication, information and entertainment 'except as directed or otherwise authorized.'"

  • Ode to Joy and Freedom: The Fall of the Berlin Wall4 stars

    "Novice historian" Ursula Grosser Dixon tells her personal account of the fall of the Wall and the reunification of Germany. "This monstrous barrier, which had caused so much grief and pain for so many, has become nothing but a sad memory. But the most amazing wonder of it all: It happened without violence, it happened because people wanted to live in peace and freedom."

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Berlin Wall." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 30 Jul. 2013. Web. 23 Jul. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/berlin-wall/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published July 30, 2013. Last modified March 9, 2014.

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