Tag Archives: Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall — 1961-1989

The Berlin Wall was erected August 13, 1961 as a dividing line between East and West Berlin. As soon as East Germans began to cross into the west people began to make an effort to tear down the wall. I crossed from West Berlin into East Berlin on several occasions when the wall stood in order to see the Pergamum Museum. In 1990 I joined others in my group in trying our hand at chiseling a few piece of the wall as souvenirs. The little hammer and chisel I “rented” from an entrepreneur didn’t do much to the hardest concrete I had ever seen.

Trying to chisel a piece of the Berlin Wall in 1990.

Trying to chisel a piece of the Berlin Wall in 1990.

Some of our guys decided to go after the wall with a large concrete post.

American tourist use a concrete post to dry to break through the Berlin Wall. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

American tourists use a concrete post to dry to break through the Berlin Wall. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Here is how it looked from the East Berlin side. Notice the rebar in the wall and  the lady holding souvenir pieces of the wall.

Trying to make a breakthrough to East Berlin. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Trying to make a breakthrough to East Berlin. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Before the wall came down we always went to the wall in West Berlin where we could see the top of the Brandenburg Gate above the 15-foot-high wall. In August my wife and I visited the beautiful gate as did numerous other tourist that day. The view is toward the former East sector and the famous Unter den Linden street.

The Brandenburg Gate in August, 2014. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Brandenburg Gate in August, 2014. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A short portion of the wall has been left as a reminder of the wall that once divided Berlin into East and West.

A portion of the Berlin Wall was left as a reminder of a sad time in the history of the city. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins in 2004.

A portion of the Berlin Wall was left as a reminder of a sad time in the history of the city. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins in 2004.

Sunday, November 9, the city of Berlin is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening, and ultimate tearing down, of the Berlin Wall.

Would that all men could be free from oppression with the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

The fall of the Berlin Wall

Twenty years ago today the Berlin wall began to come down. The wall had been a vivid symbol of the Iron Curtain and of the Cold War.

The phrase Iron Curtain came into common use after the speech by Winston Churchill at Westminster College, Fulton College, March 5, 1946.

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.

My first visit to Berlin was March 25, 1978. I took a group there to be able to visit the fabulous Pergamum Museum. In my tour brochure I had included this statement from one of Arthur Frommer’s books. He says that the entire trip to East Berlin “is worthwhile just to see the Pergamon Altar…not even in Greece itself does one get a more solid idea of the glory of Greek civilization.”

I went back to Berlin several times prior to the fall of the Wall, and I have been back several times since then. This photo shows a small portion of the Wall that remains as a reminder of the previous division.

A remnant of the Berlin Wall. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A remnant of the Berlin Wall. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.