Images of the Berlin Wall

Citizens of Berlin - including neighbors, friends and family members - were suddenly cut off from each other when construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13, 1961. While West Berliners still enjoyed the democratic freedoms of all West German citizens  - including the right to travel anytime - East Berliners were literally "walled off" from their western counterparts for 28 years, until the fall of the Wall on November 9, 1989. Even though they risked paying for it with their own lives, some brave individuals still attempted to flee communist East Germany to find freedom again in the West in various ways - including armored trucks, tunnels and even hot air balloons.

Berlin Wall Photo Gallery

Freedom Without Walls © German Embassy Washington

Looking Back at the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Brandenburg Gate at the heart of the city behind the Berlin Wall. © picture-alliance/dpa

On November 9, 1989, jubilant crowds gathered on both sides of the Berlin Wall to celebrate the opening of border crossings between the eastern and western parts of the city. Germany's postwar division was over and national unity came less than a year later.