The Berlin Wall, with actor Russell Tovey

The Berlin Wall was one of the most important symbols of the Cold War, signifying the division of Europe into communist East and capitalist West. But why was the Wall built? How did it affect the lives of ordinary Berliners? And how did it come crashing down in 1989? 

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Berlin Wall
© Crown copyright. IWM (CT 2229)
Cold War

What was the Berlin Wall and how did it fall?

At the end of the Second World War, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation under the control of the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union.
The opening of the Berlin Wall. The West German flag flies over the Brandenburg Gate, with a graffiti covered section of the Berlin Wall in the foreground in early 1990. The marks on the wall left by hundreds of Berliners chipping away at the concrete are clearly visible. By the end of 1990, much of the Wall had been demolished.
Cold War

8 Photos Of The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

On 9 November 1989, government spokesman Gunter Schabowski announced at a press conference that every citizen of East Germany would be allowed to travel to the West, effective immediately.
Art and the Berlin Wall
Cold War

Berlin Wall 30: Art and the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall divided the city for nearly 30 years, but it inspired some iconic artwork.