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Why is the Berlin Wall famous?
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. Berlin, although located within the Soviet zone, was also split amongst the four powers. The American, British and French sectors would form West Berlin and the Soviet sector became East Berlin.
The Berlin Wall was built by the German Democratic Republic during the Cold War to prevent its population from escaping East Berlin to West Berlin.
Berlin Wall separated East Berlin (the socialist part) from West Berlin (the democratic part).
The Wall was not one wall, but two.
During the years of separation, thousand of people successfully crossed the wall to West Berlin using different methods: jumping the initial barbed wire, leaping out of apartment windows nearby, digging long tunnels under, taking a hot air balloon, sliding along aerial wires, or driving a sports car at full speed through the basic initial fortifications.
In the latter stages, the barrier was developed into two walls. The walls were separated by a guarded, mined corridor of land known as the ‘death strip’.
The Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989.
The Wall became an artistic expression
The East Side Gallery is the longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall. More than 100 artists from over 20 countries decorated the wall with their artworks.
Graffitied segments of the Berlin Wall that separated the socialist, former East Germany from democratic West Berlin are enshrined around the world.
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