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26 Feb 2018 12:26
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  •   Home > News > International

    The Berlin Wall has now been gone one day longer than the 10,315 days it stood

    For 28 years, two months and 27 days the Berlin Wall divided a city. Today marks the day Germany's capital has been reunited longer than it was divided.


    For 28 years, two months and 27 days, the Berlin Wall divided a city.

    Today that wall has been gone one day longer than it stood.

    In an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany constructed a wall that totally encircled West Berlin.

    The 155-kilometre, 3.6-metre-high concrete and barbed wire divider separated East and Western Berlin from August 1961 to November 1989.

    But just two months earlier, the East German leader, Walter Ulbricht, told journalists "nobody has any intention of building a wall".

    It took just a few hours to close off West Berlin completely.

    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 about 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 about 5,000 people crossed the wall successfully and more than 130 died in the attempt.

    While parts of the wall have been dismantled since its fall on November 9, 1989, remaining sections are a tourist attraction.

    The former border crossing Checkpoint Charlie has also become an important landmark and museum in Berlin.

    © 2018 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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