The Berlin Wall | A city divided between East and West by the Cold War
CHANNEL | BBC Television Service
FIRST BROADCAST | 16 August 1961
DURATION | 1 minutes 55 seconds
Peter Woods reports from Berlin on witnessing the boundary between East and West being sealed with a concrete wall. He describes the ominous events that have taken place throughout the day, including the closure of an underground station and the movement of some East Berliners across the border. By the end of the night, it is likely that all access between the two sides of Berlin will be closed.
Construction of the Berlin Wall began in darkness during the early hours of 13 August 1961. As a result, many were unaware of what was happening. On 23 August, access between East and West Berlin was closed to all citizens. Temporary access by foreign visitors was permitted under controlled conditions. The barrier consisted of two walls with an area (or corridor) in between that was heavily guarded (a 'no man's land' or 'death zone'). A trench was also dug to prevent escape by vehicle. The walls were constructed not only of purpose-built concrete blocks topped with barbed wire or glass but also paving stones from the streets. Even a row of terraced houses formed part of the barricade, in Bernauer Strasse (Bernauer StraÃe).
Is war the only solution to the rising tensions between East and West?
British Prime Minister Clement Attlee visits an embattled West Berlin.
Mass airlifts break Soviet hold on Berlin.
Interviews with refugees from the Russian zone in Berlin.
Life in Berlin before the wall.
'Berlin presents the most crucial problem which faces mankind today.'
A BBC dispatch from Berlin on the military build-up there.
Ed Murrow is interviewed on his return from West Berlin.
The BBC reports from the scene as the Berlin Wall is constructed.
Robin Day reports on the newly built Berlin Wall.
Edward Kennedy slips quietly into East Berlin.
A Christmas truce for the people of Cold War Berlin.
HM Queen Elizabeth II visits West Berlin at the height of the Cold War.
Andrew Sachs shows his wife around East and West Berlin.
Reporting live from Berlin at the dawn of a new era for the city and the world.
The formal reunification of Germany ends 45 years of divided nationhood.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.