Germany - The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Removing the Borders

In Berlin the 'Mauerspechte'......wall-peckers account for the removal of some of the Wall.
However, there was a total of 54,000 sections each upto 3.6m high and 1.2m wide.
A large number of towns in Germany have a section of the Wall but the less photogenic sections, making up the majority of the original wall, were crushed and used for road and motorway construction.
Many sections were shipped all over the world as symbols of freedom and unity among all people.

Three sections of the Berlin Wall in Seoul, South Korea

In central Berlin the position of the wall is marked with cobblestones. In more outlying districts a number of sections have been preserved.
Information boards and memorial sites inform the curious visitor.

The course of the Berlin Wall

A preserved section at Bernauer Strasse

The memorial to Chris Gueffroy.....the last person to be killed (February 6th 1989)

The Berlin Wall Trail is around 160km long and traces the course of the former GDR border fortifications encircling West Berlin.
In most sections this hiking and bike trail runs along the former patrol road used by customs officers in West Berlin or along the border control road used by GDR border troops.

The course of the Berlin Wall trail......160km long

In the rest of Germany, as the Inner German Border was removed, communities were reunited and quiet villages that were at the very edge of Germany found themselves on busy travel routes.
Railways were reconnected and canals once more linked up.

In one small area of Germany a large number of towns and villages are reconnected.

The process of clearing the border fortifications was given to thousands of former border guards.
This process involved locating and removing tens of thousands of land mines that were unaccounted for following clearances in the 1980s......over 1.4 million had been laid.
Clearing the border area was unofficially helped by German civilians from both sides who scavenged the installations for fencing, wire and blocks of concrete to use in home improvements.
One East German commented in April 1990, "Last year, they used this fence to keep us in. This year, I'll use it to keep my chickens."
Most of the metal fencing was sold to scrap dealers for about 2GBP a sheet.

The border areas are open for exploration and exploitation......the author and his family have tried to 'do their bit'.

A gap in the wall gives access to the former 'death strip'

The author managed to liberate one of the lights that used to illuminate the death strip.......but not with this low wattage bulb!

The landscape all over Germany was changing........three examples are shown below.

Nienbergen........northern Germany

Hötensleben..........central Germany

Vacha.........southern Germany

Additional images can be viewed in the Extras menu.......Then & Now

The area of the Inner German Border has been turned into a Green Belt that runs the length of Germany
The old "Death Strip" is now one of the world's most unusual nature reserves.

The 'Green Belt' following the former patrol road at Sorge in central Germany