My father has never forgotten the stories of elderly people who risked their lives to swim across Berlin’s River Spree to escape from East to West, nor the two East German ladies who turned up in the flat next door, successfully reunited with relatives and wildly happy, despite the fact that they had left everything behind – homes, jobs and security. They had their freedom and that was all that mattered. My father had previously been a Communist sympathiser – but not any more.
The Wall stretched 96 miles along the border surrounding West Berlin, dividing it from East Berlin and the rest of East Germany. Initially laid with barbed wire entanglement and later reinforced with concrete blocks, its purpose – to prevent the continued exodus of East Germans into the West via West Berlin – apparently justified even the destruction of a graveyard which happened to lie across the border.
Read the rest of this fascinating article here The birth of the Berlin Wall