#onthisday, 13th of August 1961, a hot Sunday in summer, the German Democratic Republic began building the Berlin Wall, or as they called it, the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart. The wall split one of Europe’s great cities, Berlin right through the middle. This is almost impossible to imagine today, in the same way as it was almost impossible to imagine it could ever be removed when I grew up in the 70s and 80s.
A 2000-character post could never do justice to the significance of the Berlin Wall and its victims. Therefore, I recommend you listen to Neil MacGregor’s Memories of a Nation that starts at the Brandenburg Gate where the wall once stood. Or if you want to get more detail, The Rest is History made a great Episode most recently talking in some detail about what drove the construction of the wall, its impact on daily life and its fall in 1989. And Katja Hoyer talks about the “wall in the head” that still divides the country here.
If you want me to talk about it on the History of the Germans Podcast, I am afraid that will be a still a long time before I get there, but I will – I promise