Berlin Wall History Mile Zimmerstrasse/Wilhelmstrasse

The Berlin Wall separated the two sides of Niederkirchnerstrasse and Zimmerstrasse from one another along their entire length. The border strip here was only a few meters wide, and buildings like the one that now houses the Berlin House of Representatives and today’s Federal Ministry of Finance were integrated into the inner wall.

The Berlin Wall History Mile station here reports on the international press conference held on 15 June 1961 at the House of Ministries, today the home of the Federal Ministry of Finance, at which GDR head of state Walter Ulbricht famously declared, “No one has any intention of building a wall!”

As the temporary seat of the GDR government, the House of Ministries was also a focus of the demonstrations that took place on 16 and 17 June 1953, when the protesters taking part in this mass uprising gathered there to demand social reforms and free elections. Today a monument in front of the ministry commemorates the June uprising.

This office complex was built in 1935 as the Reich Ministry of Aviation and the official seat of its minister, Hermann Göring. Information on the history of this and other ministries in the former government district can be found on the blue info boards of the “Geschichtsmeile Wilhelmstrasse” (Wilhelmstrasse History Mile).