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The Berlin Crisis of 1961

The Cold War - 1947 - 1991

The Berlin Crisis of 1961 began with the construction of the infamous “Berlin Wall” that sealed off access to freedom for the peoples of not just West Berlin but all of Eastern Europe.  Its barbed wire, guard towers, and shoot-to-kill orders of its soldiers made escape to the west all but impossible.  The 87 mile long wall remained closed until the collapse of effective communist rule resulted in its opening on November 9, 1989.  At that point thousands of East Germans breached its checkpoints and climbed its barriers.  The entire wall was demolished the following year.  Today few remnants remain to show that it ever existed.  Estimates are between 136-200 people died trying to escape over or under the wallduring its twenty-eight years of existence.