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Monday, November 10, 2014

25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall

November 9, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The 155km, 3.6-metre-high wall separated East and West Berliners for 28 years, from August 1961 until November 1989. Along its length were more than 300 watchtowers and 20 bunkers, thousands of soldiers, guard dogs, alarms, ditches to trap vehicles, and a no man's land that varied in width from around 300 metres to the width of a street. Despite these preventative measures, many attempted to cross the wall. Exact numbers are uncertain but it is understood that around 5,000 people crossed the wall successfully and more than 130 died in the attempt.

Motorcycle police watch workers lay bricks during the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961.(AFP)
East German tanks assemble in front of the Friedrichstrasse train station with their guns pointed west, August 1961.(AFP)


Gunter Litfin, the first person to be shot whilst attempting to escape across the Berlin Wall, is moved by East German guards, A

Four-year-old Michael Finder of East Germany is tossed by his father, Willy Finder, into a net held by residents across the bord
East German guard Conrad Schumann leaps over barbed wire into West Berlin days after construction began on the wall. (CIA photo)

West Berliners wave to friends and family across the Berlin Wall, September 1961. (CIA photo)

A car drives between US tanks across the famous Berlin Wall crossing point at Checkpoint Charlie, October 1961. (AFP)

Men on the western side of the Berlin Wall talk to their girlfriends behind a fence at the train station Stettiner Bahnhof in Be

The Berlin Wall at the Bernauer Strasse in East Berlin (Soviet sector), June 1968. (AFP)

A section of no man's land, marking the border between East (Soviet sector) and West Berlin (American sector), April 1984. (AFP:

People in West Berlin (American sector) look over the Berlin Wall, October 1976. (AFP)

West Berliners continue their vigil atop the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate, November 10, 1989. (Reuters)

West Berliners crowd in front of the Berlin Wall and watch as East German border guards demolish a section of the wall near the

A section of the Berlin Wall is lifted by a crane as East Germany starts to dismantle the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate.

Celebrations in front of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the fall of the wall. (AFP: Gerard Malie)

People from East Germany greet West German residents at the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate. (AFP: Patrick Herzog)

East and West Berliners meet at Potsdamer Platz after the Berlin Wall was torn down to make way for a new border crossing, Novem

An East German border guard stamps the passport of an exiled East German woman after the Berlin Wall fell. (AFP: Patrick Hertzog

An East German border soldier looks at a man hammering a section of the Berlin Wall near Checkpoint Charlie. (Reuters: Fabrizio

People look through a preserved segment of the Berlin Wall near the memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, August 2010. (A

The photos of some of those killed as they tried to cross the Berlin Wall are displayed at memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in


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