20 September 2012

Berlin (West)

How little I know of the history of Berlin - or of its geography, despite having visited a couple of years ago. This map, from the late 70s I think (definitely pre-1989!), is fascinating none the less. This map shows the Berlin Wall and checkpoints. It was 155 km (96 miles) long, and had 302 watch towers. Building started in August 1961; the physical wall was primarily destroyed in 1990. Here it is in its early days-
August 17, 1961: A citizen of East Berlin asks a woman in West Berlin to get something from a store on a divided street
People carry only a few belongings as they flee to the west after it became known East Berlin was being separated from West Berlin
See more photos about building the wall here.

As Robert Frost said, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall" - but he was on about something rather different; these lines are relevant, though:
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know 
What I was walling in or walling out
Read the poem here.

Intriguing photos in the Story of Berlin museum -

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Interesting...the last comparison photo. Not sure when the photos were taken, but the East Berlin photo could have been Romania when we went just after the revolution around 1990...or in other words, that photo could have been anywhere in the Soviet Bloc from the point the photo was taken til after the Wall/ Iron Curtain went down. Except of course, more and more aged and worn.