Border reality


The border between East and West

The inner-German border between the Federal Republic and the GDR, the most important section of the Iron Curtain through Europe, stretched over a length of almost 1400 kilometres. In addition, 155 kilometres of the Berlin Wall surrounded the western part of the city. The Berlin Wall was the most famous symbol of the division. Only a few road and rail crossings remained for transit traffic to West Berlin and for entry into the GDR. Fences, area barriers with dangerous thorns and watchtowers made every escape attempt a deadly risk for GDR citizens. Nevertheless, tens of thousands dared to do so. More than 1000 people died violently on the inner-German border; between 1961 and 1989 about 140 people died on the Berlin Wall alone.