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Berlin celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall

Reunification, Freedom and Identification

On 9 November 1989, Berlin was reunited. The Berlin Wall fell – the end of the massive border complex that left Berlin divided into East and West for 28 years, tearing apart families, friends and neighbours.

Today, Berlin is known as a place of freedom, opportunity and individuality. But that was not always the case. On 13 August 1961, work began on constructing the Berlin Wall. It stood as a symbol of a divided city and country, of terror and the Cold War. Overnight, it changed an entire nation.

For many people, the fall of the Wall on 9 November 1989 was the best day of their lives – the day they regained their freedom through a Peaceful Revolution.

Next year is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall and the city of Berlin is celebrating reunification and democracy!

Berliner Mauer
© visitBerlin

In Yearning for freedom and in fear of their lives – 12 metres down

App ABOUT BERLIN
© visitBerlin

Together with 34 friends, West Berlin escape helper Peter Schulenburg constructs a tunnel 12 metres deep and 145 metres long. It becomes a glimmer of hope for many in the East. But how many ultimately reach freedom in West Berlin? What ordeals do they have to go through – and how are their individual fates intermeshed? Find out more about this exciting story in the free app ABOUT BERLIN. At over 200 locations, explore living history in Berlin stories from a variety of eras. This multimedia app, including easy-to-compile individual tours and maps with offline functionality, gives you an authentic insight into Berlin and brings the city alive digitally.

 

More about the App in our Press release

 

Experience Berlin between division and reunification

asisi_DIE_MAUER
© visitBerlin, Foto: asisi F&E GmbH / Tom Schulze
asisi DIE MAUER

An autumn day in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district in the 1980s. What was the atmosphere like in a divided Berlin? How did day-to-day life look for people behind the Wall? And what was it like living in West and East Berlin? In the asisi Panorama of a divided Berlin, you can immerse yourself in this panorama installation of daily life and Berlin’s urban feel after the Wall and before reunification.
The panorama presents an impressive atmospheric moment in time which also illustrates the fears and menace of those days.

 

visitBerlin tips:
The asisi 360-degree Pergamon Panorama was a global sensation when first shown in 2011. On 17 November 2018, the panorama is returning to the PERGAMON Museum where it first amazed visitors with its impressive images.

From 29 September 2018 to 13 January 2019, the Martin-Gropius-Bau is hosting Lee Bul’s Crash, the first solo show in Germany by this leading Korean artist. The works not only highlight her outstanding performance and installation art, but also include provocative works, some inspired by Japanese anime or subtly alluding to Korean politics and history.

The old border, hopes and commemoration

Even today, the scar left by the former Wall still is a major influence in Berlin. That influence can also be found in the cityscape, where the Berlin Wall Trail and fragments of the Wall testify to the course of the former GDR border to West Berlin. On this trail, the emotions of those days are still evident. These are places where people cried, bid their farewells, and even where they died – and where people from East and West later fell into each other arms again.

Berlin Wall Memorial

Gedenkstätte_Berliner_Mauer
© visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

As the main memorial site of German division, the Berlin Wall Memorial’s multimedia exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the construction of the Berlin Wall, life with the Wall, and the Fall of the Wall. Here, you can also find the last section of the Berlin Wall still as originally built.

The Parliament of Trees

Winter_Regierungsviertel
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle
Winter, Regierungsviertel

This memorial site comprises an installation of trees, parts of the border defence complex and memorial stones for victims of the Wall. The 16 trees in the memorial represent the 16 German federal states and commemorate the events around the Wall. In this unconventional and poignant garden, 58 pieces of the Wall, some treated artistically, others left as original, recall the dividing line that once ran through the city.

Event tips

  • nineties Berlin – Multimedia Exhibition, Alte Münze, permanent exhibition. This multimedia 270° experience immerses you into life in Berlin directly after the fall of the Wall.
  • Ost-Berlin – Die halbe Hauptstadt, Ephraim-Palais, from May 11th 2019. An exhibition on the history of East Berlin, the capital of the GDR, from the late 1960s until the reunification in 1990.
  • „20 aus 20“, Museum Europäischer Kulturen, from June 28th 2019. 20 objects acquired over the last 20 years – insights when the ethnological collections in the former East and West were merged.
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