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Berlin Wall Memorial

The sealing off of the sector border starting on 13 August 1961 made dramatic changes especially in the everyday lives of the people living on Bernauer Strasse. From one day to the next, they could no longer travel freely through their own neighborhood, and neighbors, friends, and relatives were separated from one another. The house across the street was suddenly part of another political system. Through no fault of their own and against their will, the people of Bernauer Strasse became eyewitnesses to and actors in an episode of post-war German history in Berlin.

In desperation, people jumped out of the windows of apartments bordering West Berlin and paid with their lives. Some of the Bernauer Strasse escape attempts succeeded, however. Cameras and film crews brought these scenes to a watching world.

The construction of the Berlin Wall put an abrupt and violent end to daily life, leaving traces that are visible even today on Bernauer Strasse. The former “no man’s land” between Brunnenstrasse and Gartenstrasse has been preserved, undeveloped, in its original width. An outdoor exhibition by the Berlin Wall Memorial is being laid out here. Using the many historical fragments still found here and the area's eventful past, the exhibition uses concrete examples to describe the purpose and function of the Berlin Wall. It concentrates especially on the stories of people whose lives were disrupted or restricted by the Wall, who were expelled from their homes because of it, or who attempted to escape over it.

The Berlin Wall Memorial is located roughly in the middle of this section of the former border. The Federal Republic of Germany established it in 1998 "in memory of the city’s division from 13 August 1961 to 9 November 1989 and of the victims of communist tyranny." In their design, the Stuttgart architects Kohlhoff & Kohlhoff preserved sixty meters of the former "no man's land" as a physical reminder of the Wall, while giving it an artistic interpretation and shape.

The memorial grounds can be reached best from the Visitors Center at the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station. From here you can walk to the outdoor exhibition along the former border strip with its "Window of Remembrance," the Berlin Wall Memorial, and the memorial's other buildings: the Documentation Center with the exhibition "Berlin, 13 August 1961" and the Chapel of Reconciliation. Work on this ensemble will be completed in 2011.

Foundation Stiftung Berliner Mauer
Berlin Wall Memorial
Bernauer Straße 111
13355 Berlin-Mitte

Visitors Center
Bernauer Strasse 119
13355 Berlin

Tours and admission free

November to March: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
April to October: 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Visitors Service
Phone +49 (0)30 467 98 66 66
Fax +49 (0)30 467 98 66 77

S-Bahn station Nordbahnhof (S1, S2, S25), U-Bahn station Bernauer Strasse (U8), Tram M10, Bus 245, 247

info@berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de
www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de(Externer Link)

(See also "Berlin Wall Memorial")
Memorial stone for victims of the Berlin Wall

Memorial stone for victims of the Berlin Wall

A boulder put up in 1982 by the Borough Office of Wedding on Bernauer Strasse near Swinemünder Strasse honors the memory of the people who died at the Berlin Wall (in the Wedding borough): Ida Siekmann, Hans Dieter Wesa, Rudolf Urban, Olga Segler, Bernd Lünser, Ernst Mundt, Ottfried Reck, two victims whose names were unknown at the time, and Dietmar Schulz. … more »

Berlin Wall History Mile on Bernauer Strasse

Berlin Wall History Mile on Bernauer Strasse

If you walk along Bernauer Strasse between Schwedter Strasse and Strelitzer Strasse, you will find four Berlin Wall History Mile info boards marking the sites of escape attempts. Some – as in the case of Ida Siekmann on 22 August 1961 – ended in death, others – like that of the GDR border guard Conrad Schumann – caught the attention of the world, and still others – like the one that brought 57 people through a 140-meter tunnel to West Berlin – were hugely successful.

Locations:
Near Bernauer Strasse 48
Near Bernauer Strasse 78
Corner of Ruppiner Strasse and Bernauer Strasse
Corner of Strelitzer Strasse and Bernauer Strasse

Berlin Wall Documentation Center

Berlin Wall Documentation Center

The Documentation Center at Bernauer Strasse 111 is part of the Berlin Wall Memorial ensemble. It offers a wide range of information and opportunities to explore the history of the Berlin Wall and its consequences: a permanent exhibition, a tower with a viewing platform, seminars on political education, and various events. … more »

Chapel of Reconciliation

Chapel of Reconciliation

The border to West Berlin lay just a few meters away from the entrance to the Church of Reconciliation. The construction of the Berlin Wall put this 1894 redbrick neo-Gothic building right in the middle of the “no man’s land” – making it inaccessible to its congregation. In 1985 the GDR ordered its demolition. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the property was returned to the congregation to be used for church purposes. Eleven years after the fall of the Wall, on 9 November 2000, a new church was consecrated. … more »

“Street gallery” on Bernauerstrasse and Ackerstrasse

“Street gallery” on Bernauerstrasse and Ackerstrasse

The new roughly 70-meter “gallery” bordering Bernauerstrasse and Ackerstrasse offers information on the additions to the Berlin Wall Memorial and the plans for reshaping the memorial grounds. Its photos and texts (in German and English) also cover the history of Bernauer Strasse. … more »

“Street gallery” on the corner of Bernauerstrasse and Schwedter Strasse

“Street gallery” on the corner of Bernauerstrasse and Schwedter Strasse

In the context of the additions being made to the Berlin Wall Documentation Center, another gallery wall tells the story of the Wall and the division of Berlin. … more »

“Ghost stations”: Exhibition at the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station

“Ghost stations”: Exhibition at the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station

A Berlin Wall Foundation exhibition at the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station brings back to life an almost forgotten chapter of the history of Berlin’s division: the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations in East Berlin that were shut down and patrolled by GDR border guards. The trains that ran through these stations could only be boarded in West Berlin. The exhibition also looks at underground escape attempts and the border installations put up below ground to prevent them. … more »