53th anniversary of the Berlin Wall

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  • Excelente documento histórico!! Muchas gracias!
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  • Extraordinario reportaje, querida Olga, como es habitual en ti. Un fuerte abrazo.
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  • When it comes to current affairs,Olga, you're the best,bravo.many hugs.
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  • Thanks for the reminder, Olga! Remarkable presentation!
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  • Excellent work that seems so far away; Many tanks !
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  • 1. 13 August 1961 The border between East and West Berlin is closed. Soldiers start to build the wall, at first with barbed wire and light fencing which in the coming years develops into a heavily complex series of wall, fortified fences, gun positions and watchtowers that are heavily guarded… 53th anniversary of the Berlin Wall
  • 2. 15 June 1961, GDR head of state Walter Ulbricht declared that no one had any intention of building a wall. On 12 August 1961, the GDR Council of Ministers announced that “in order to put a stop to the hostile activity of West Germany’s and West Berlin’s revanchist and militaristic forces, border controls of the kind generally found in every sovereign state will be set up at the border of the German Democratic Republic, including the border to the western sectors of Greater Berlin.” What the Council did not say was that this measure was directed primarily against the GDR's own population, which would no longer be permitted to cross the border. In the early morning hours of 13 August 1961, temporary barriers were put up at the border separating the Soviet sector from West Berlin, and the asphalt and cobblestones on the connecting roads were ripped up. Police and transport police units, along with members of “workers’ militias,” stood guard and turned away all traffic at the sector boundaries.
  • 3. In the years to come, the barriers were modified, reinforced, and further expanded, and the system of controls at the border was perfected. The Wall running through the city center, which separated East and West Berlin from one another, was 43.1 kilometers long. The border fortifications separating West Berlin from the rest of the GDR were 111.9 kilometers long. Well over 100,000 citizens of the GDR tried to escape across the inner-German border or the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1988. More than 600 of them were shot and killed by GDR border guards or died in other ways during their escape attempt. At least 136 people died at the Berlin Wall alone between 1961 and 1989….
  • 4. LIFE Berlin Wall: Rare Photos From the Birth of a Brutal Divide
  • 5. In the early 1960s, LIFE magazine’s photographers chronicled the construction of the Berlin Wall and, once it was built, its effect on residents living in the newly divided city. The Soviets and East Germans built the Wall, in part, to stop the flight of Eastern Bloc citizens who frequently used Berlin as the point from which they tried to escape to the West. (By the time the Wall was built, an estimated 20 percent of the East German population had fled.) In its September 8, 1961 issue, LIFE wrote that the newly constructed wall, “up to 20 feet high and tipped with cruel glass splinters, is now an all but permanent barrier between the hapless people in both sectors [of divided Berlin] . . . Communist inhumanity has seldom showed itself more baldly or more brutally than in its Berlin wall—and the anguish and indignity it is now working upon the people of Berlin, young and old, East and West.” With the hideous bulwark in place, the ideological divide between Eastern and Western superpowers grew sharper, more frightening and (seemingly) more intractable. Here, LIFE.com offers powerful pictures of the construction and earliest days of the Wall—photos that offer a glimpse into an era that today feels at once profoundly alien, and disturbingly familiar.
  • 6. A hand reaches above the broken glass-covered top of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.
  • 7. A West German man lifts his son to give him a view of the other side of the Berlin Wall, 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 8. A woman, foreground, who had escaped to West Berlin, speaks to her mother — who is still in East Berlin — in August 1961. Stan Wayman Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 9. A West Berlin woman looks out over the Berlin Wall- reflected in her window in 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 10. American forces, in foreground, face East German forces across the newly built Berlin Wall in 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 11. A crowd of West Berlin residents watches as an East German policeman patrols the Berlin Wall in August 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 12. A couple enjoys a West Berlin bar as the Wall looms in the near distance in 1961. Paul Schutzer —Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 13. An East German mason builds up a fresh portion of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty
  • 14. A crowd of West Berlin youths gather to protest the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 15. Sunlight shines on the barbed wire and blocks of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 16. An East German policeman uses sunlight reflected off a mirror in an attempt to stop photographers from taking pictures in August 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 17. A West Berlin toddler attempts to open a sealed door of a house that has become part of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. Paul SchutzerTime & Life Pictures/Getty Image
  • 18. West Berlin children, from left, Peter Friedrich, 5, Katrin Kuhl, 4, and Jurgen Bottcher, 8, build a pretend Berlin Wall in a vacant lot in October 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 19. West Berlin police officers jump off a truck as two others run to meet them before starting their shifts on guard duty at the Berlin Wall in October 1961. Paul SchutzerTime & Life Pictures/Getty ImagesThree
  • 20. An East German teen hides in tall grass, far left, awaiting a chance to jump over the Berlin Wall in October 1961. "Crouching in a tangle of grass in East Berlin," wrote LIFE when this escape sequence originally ran in he magazine, "and hidden except for his face [barely visible on the left side of the pic], a boy waits to make a break over the wall he must surmount to reach the West. Nearby is a patrol of East German Vopos who will shoot to kill if they see him.“ Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 21. West German police look out over the Berlin Wall in order to offer their help to any potential escapees to the West in October 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 22. An East German teen makes his way to the West climbing over the Berlin Wall in October 1961. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 23. A 17-year-old East German orphan successfully slips through the barbed wire over the Berlin Wall to the West after being waved on by West Berlin police in October 1961. "This boy," wrote LIFE, "a 17-year-old orphan, was too dazed to say anything but 'Thanks, thanks,' as he shook the hands that had helped him.“Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 24. A Lebanese businessman, Edmond Khayat, carries an 85-pound wooden cross to protest the Berlin Wall in October 1961. Paul SchutzerTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 25. Birds on barbed wire strung atop the Berlin Wall in January 1962. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 26. A divided Berlin is seen through barbed wire and rubble in January 1962. Paul Schutzer— Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 27. A young West German, Monika Heyne, plays with a ball near the Berlin Wall in January 1962. Paul Schutzer—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 28. An East German guard throws a ball back to a child on the West German side of the Berlin Wall in June 1962. Paul Schutzer / TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images
  • 29. An East German policeman, known as a Volkspolizei or "people's police" — Vopo for short — walks at Checkpoint Charlie between East and West Berlin in October 1962Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 30. Children chase a ball beside the Berlin Wall in December 1962. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 31. A girl looks at the Berlin Wall through a frosty window which reflects the Wall's silhouetted barbed wire in December 1962. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 32. The Berlin Wall bears the shadowy silhouettes of West Berliners waving to their relatives on the unseen, Eastern side of the Wall in December 1962. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 33. A divided Berlin, seen through a tangle of barbed wire in December 1962. Paul Schutzer Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • 34. Life around The Berlin Wall in the 1960s
  • 35. On a day when the Berlin Wall is open, throngs of West Germans wait for friends and relatives to arrive from the Eastern sector. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images). 1960
  • 36. Russian soldiers leaving the British sector march back into the East Sector, after laying wreaths on the Soviet monument in West Berlin on the 43rd anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The Brandenburg Gate is on the right. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 7th November 1960
  • 37. East German tanks are lined up at Warschauer Bridge in Berlin, Germany on August 13, 1961. Crossing points between East and West Berlin were heavily guarded after Communists prevented East Germans from crossing into the West sector in an effort to stop heavy flow of refugees. (AP Photo)
  • 38. Two little girls in a West German street chat with their grandparents in the window of their home in the eastern zone, separated only by a barbed wire barricade. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 14th August 1961
  • 39. Conrad Schumann leaping over barbed wire into West Berlin on 15 August 1961. Photograph Peter Leibing AP 15 August 1961: Defecting East German soldier, Hans Conrad Schumann, leaps over a barbed wire barricade at the Bernauer Street sector into West Berlin. Schumann made his break for freedom to join his family which had fled earlier to West Berlin.
  • 40. West German police arrest a young man, one of the angry crowd throwing stones at a bus full of Soviet guards making their way to the Soviet War Memorial, 20th August 1962. The crowd were incensed by the death of 18-year-old Peter Fechter, who was shot while trying to cross the Berlin Wall a few days earlier. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 41. East German troops and police seal off the frontier between East and West Berlin with barbed-wire to control the flow of refugees. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 15th August 1961
  • 42. Posters of Nikita Khrushchev, Walter Ulbricht, Wilhelm Pieck and the East German Premier Otto Grotewohl on an East Berlin Wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 28th August 1961
  • 43. Stone wall doesn’t stop curious West Berliners from viewing the Eastern part of the city. An automobile used by man to overcome height of problem in Berlin August 28, 1961. (AP Photo/Worth)
  • 44. Stone wall doesn’t stop curious West Berliners from viewing the Eastern part of the city. Wooden boxes, used by the couple at left to overcome height of problem in Berlin August 28, 1961. (AP Photo/Worth)
  • 45. East German military personnel supervising construction of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images). August 1961
  • 46. Dieter and Monika Marotz of Bernauerstrasse, Berlin, wave to relatives after their wedding, 8th September 1961. The newlyweds live in the western sector of Berlin, while their relatives living on the same street are in the Eastern sector and unable to attend the ceremony. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 47. Relatives of newlyweds Dieter and Monika Marotz of Bernauerstrasse, Berlin, wave to the couple after their wedding, 8th September 1961. Although the Marotz's and their relatives live in the same street, their houses are in the western and eastern sectors, respectively, of the divided city, leaving them unable to be at the ceremony together. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 48. People’s policeman in work dress removing barbed wire from brick wall while other policeman in background are hightened to wall to 15 feet in Berlin Sept. 9, 1961. At right background people's police officer. Border Bernauer Strasse at French, Russian sector. (AP Photo/E.Reichert)
  • 49. A woman is lowered from a window in Bernauer Strasse on a rope to escape into the western sector of Berlin after the post-war division of the city. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 10th September 1961
  • 50. Members of the Volkspolizei, the East German national police, check an elderly man's papers at the Berlin Wall, 11th September 1961. Only those whose houses are adjacent to the wall are allowed within 100 meters of it. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 51. Families and friends, once neighbours, now stand divided and wave across to each other over the Berlin wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1961
  • 52. A citizen of East Berlin peers through barbed wire at a West Berliner over the Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961. The mass immigration of Germans from Communist Berlin to Western Berlin inspired East Germany military leader Erich Honeker to construct the blockade, a barricade of concrete walls, mine fields and guard posts that stretched for 100 miles. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 53. Soldiers building the Berlin Wall as instructed by the East German authorities, in order to strengthen the existing barriers dividing East and West Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1961
  • 54. Soldiers outside the entrance to Berlin's Potsdamer Platz underground station next to a section of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images). Circa 1961
  • 55. Soviet tanks and troops at Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing point in the Berlin Wall between the American and Soviet sectors of the city at the junction of Friedrichstrasse, Zimmerstrasse and Mauerstrasse, 1961. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 56. American tanks and troops at Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing point in the Berlin Wall between the American and Soviet sectors of the city at the junction of Friedrichstrasse, Zimmerstrasse and Mauerstrasse, 1961. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
  • 57. A barricade erected by the East German authorities to strengthen the existing barriers dividing East and West Berlin. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images). 22nd November 1961
  • 58. Two mothers can only wave to their children and grandchildren in the Soviet sector of Berlin from across the Berlin wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1961
  • 59. Two West Berlin policemen with their new American rapid fire rifles on duty with a snowman on Christmas Day in front of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 25th December 1961
  • 60. A loudspeaker van from the West Berlin organisation SAS (Studio am Stacheldraht or Studio at the Barbed Wire) arrives at the Berlin Wall where a new section is being built, 23rd July 1962. Shortly after this, an East German police car turned up, blasting music and Communist propaganda from its loudspeakers. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 61. East German border guards carry away a 50 year old refugee, who was shot with three targeted shots by East German border police on September 4, 1962 as he dashed through communist border installations and tried to climb the Berlin wall in the cemetery of the Sophien Church. (AP Photo)
  • 62. Officers inspecting the damage to the Berlin Wall, East Germany, and making preparations for its repair, after an East German rammed the Wall with an army car and successfully escaped. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1963
  • 63. Sightseers climb onto a bus to look at the newly-built Berlin Wall. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 1964
  • 64. A German women hangs clothing out to dry on a line strung between a tree and the Berlin Wall, Germany, November 13, 1963 (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images).
  • 65. end cast 53th anniversary of the Berlin Wall images credit www. Music Scorpions Wind of change created olga.e. thanks for watching