Vintage: Constructing the Berlin Wall (1961)

Vintage: Constructing the Berlin Wall (1961)


The 140-kilometer Berlin Wall was in fact two barriers. The first was constructed rapidly in August 1961. The second, parallel barrier, 100 meters into the Eastern zone, was erected in June 1962. The area in between the two barriers was known as the Death Strip. The wall was initially constructed as a wire fence. By its demise in 1989, it consisted of 45,000 sections of reinforced concrete. At key points, the wall was deliberately made weaker so Soviet military vehicles could swiftly break through in a time of war.

Berlin, Germany, 19th November, 1961, East Berlin border guards adding barbed wire to the newly built Berlin Wall, The wall was set up the Soviet army to prevent refugees escaping from the Soviet sector in the East to West Berlin

East Berlin border guards adding barbed wire to the newly built Berlin Wall. Image: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Communist soldiers bulding the Berlin Wa

Image: Robert Lackenbach/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Berlin, Germany, 20th November, 1961, East German workers laying bricks during the building of the new wall in Berlin to divide East and West of the city, at the Brandenburg Gate, leading to the British sector, The wall was set up the Soviet army to preve

Image: Popperfoto/Getty Images

MUR DE BERLIN EN CONSTRUCTION 1961

Image: Keystone France

Berlin: The Wall Of Shame

Image: Patrice Habans/Paris Match/Getty Images

Politics. Germany. The Berlin Wall. pic: 1961. East German workmen reinforce the Berlin Wall by putting glass fragments on top of the brickets.

East German workmen reinforce the Berlin Wall by putting glass fragments on top of the brickets. Image: Getty Images

RENOVATION DU MUR DE BERLIN 1962

On Berlin’s Bernauer Street, the Volkspolice built a larger wall next to the old one. Image: Keystone-France


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