Fall of the Berlin Wall 30th anniversary
30 years ago, the Berlin Wall was a symbol of the Cold War, dividing not only a great city but also what had been one country. In 2019, we are celebrating – or, perhaps better put, commemorating – the fall of the Berlin Wall 30th anniversary.
All week in the streets, parks and building halls of Berlin, there are concerts, speeches and special events leading up to Nov. 9 – the day the guards stepped away from their post at Bornholmer Strasse allowing the first surge of East Germans to flood into the West.
Although three decades ago, one can still find remnants of the wall around the city, as well as memorials to those who died trying to escape. If there is one thing everybody should at some point experience, it is the history that pervades the city everywhere you turn. You can bike the Berlin wall path, you can visit sites and memorials to the fall of the Berlin Wall, you can go to museums and parks.
A few facts about the Berlin Wall
- The wall itself was nearly 100 miles long around the eastern part of the city Berlin, the section of the city that was under oversight by the then-Soviet Union allies who helped defeat Hitler.
- At least 140 people died while trying to escape, while 5,057 people managed to escape.
- The death zone border complex with no-man’s land, watch towers and killer dogs was patrolled by 11,500 guards.
- Today, parts of the Berlin Wall can be found in different cities and museums around the world.
To read more facts, take a look at an infographic prepared by the Berlin Tourist Information Office (available in five languages).
Learning more about the Berlin Wall 30th anniversary
You don’t have to be in the city during the Berlin Wall 30th anniversary to learn more about the fall of the wall. Take a look at some of our stories on the Berlin Wall, the history of the secret police (STASI), the “Peaceful Revolution” that led to the fall of the wall, and other Cold War sites. (If you are going to be in Berlin, find out about events here.)
Walking the Berlin Wall: More than two decades after the wall that divided East from West Berlin suddenly fell in 1989, walking the Berlin Wall and its remains are a haunting reminder of an era that is as frightening as it is unbelievable. There are museums and memorials everywhere you turn in a now vibrant yet still rebuilding city….
Revolution for German unity: As a part of the developing “Campus for Democracy” at the former headquarters of East Germany’s state security, or Stasi, in Berlin, an open-air exhibit details the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution Berlin that helped bring about German unity….
STASI secret police sites not to miss: You need to peel back the layers and look behind the curtain of the dreaded secret police to really gain insights in this year of the Berlin Wall 30th anniversary, from the secret police spying archives to prisons and offices.
Street art at a former spy station: Teufelsberg Berlin is at once bizarre, haunting, edgy, eerie, beautiful, inspiring, and unnerving. And frankly wandering among the rubble and ruins of the former National Security Agency listening post is too perhaps a little dangerous. And all of this makes it a perfect haven for street and urban artists from around the world. And a must-see sight for anyone else who loves street art or visiting an off-beat attraction….
Insider Berlin travel tips
Need a place to stay in Berlin?
Research your visit to Berlin by looking at all the articles and recommendations we have made from personal experience here.
Purchase a Berlin Welcome Card and ride public transport for free plus receive discounts of up to 50 percent with museums and numerous other Berlin attractions.
Here are several guidebooks on Berlin we recommend:
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