Between August 1961 and August 1962, the Communist regime closes the border between the sectors in Berlin, builds and fortifies the wall in the city and foils escape attempts using lethal forces. A sad balance which continues over the following years.
 

 

June 15., 1961     _____________________________

Ulbricht misleads
the people

 

Ulbricht, East German Head of Party and State declares before the press in East-Berlin:
No one intends to erect a wall."
 

August 13., 1961     ___________________________

Start of

 

At dawn, armed East German troops begin the sealing off of the eastern sector of Berlin with barbed wired and roadblocks. "To stop the hostile activities of the revanchist and militaristic forces of West Germany," the East German cabinet decides to control the western sector border of Berlin in "a way every sovereign nation regulates its borders. "As long as West Berlin does not change into a neutral, demilitarized city, citizens of East Germany may travel to West Berlin only with a special permit.

The East German Department of Interior closes all but 13 checkpoints between East and West Berlin. East German citizens are prohibited from working in West Berlin.The Public Transportation System (Metro and S-Bahn) between East and West Berlin is interrupted. Friedrichstrasse Station is the only remaining open station. Its station hall is often filled with returning Western visitors saying goodbye to their relatives and loved ones. It becomes known as the "Palace of Tears."

The first escape: On the very first day, a young recruit attempts of flee East Germany.  The scene is captured on film and is seen all over the world.
 

August14/15., 1961     ________________________

Wall Segments

 

East German border police close the Brandenburg Gate as a symbolic act on August 14, 1961.A day later, East German construction workers, guarded by armed border guards, erect the first segments of the Wall.
 

August 23., 1961     ___________________________

Harsher Measures
are Taken

 

West Berliners are prohibited from entering East Berlin.
 

August 24., 1961    ___________________________

First fatal shots

 

A 24 year old man becomes the first victim of the Wall. Trying to escape, he is shot by border guards in the Humboldt port area. Until April 18, 1989, many people lose their lives trying to cross the Berlin Wall.
 

September 12., 1961    _______________________

East German
Border Units

 

In an attempt to make border crossing even more difficult, East German Border Units are formed as part of the National People's Army. The Border Units are dissolved 29 years later on September 21, 1990.
 

October 27., 1961    __________________________

Stand off

 

A standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union takes place at Check Point Charlie.  No shots are fired.
 

June 18., 1962     _____________________________

Reinhold Huhn

 

An East German border guard is shot by a West German escape agent. Communist party commemorates him as a hero in the "Fight against the West" and uses the incident as a pretext to further the perfection of the border system.  (Death zone)
 

June 19., 1962     _____________________________

Death Zone

 

East German Border guards and construction workers begin installing a second fence behind the existing Wall.  This death strip - a barren zone 100 yards wide is a closely controlled no-man's-land between the Walls.
 

August 17., 1962     ___________________________

Peter Fechter

 

The East Berliner construction worker, Peter Fechter, is shot and injured by border guards. Not provided with any medical assistance, he bleeds to death in "no-man's-land."  Again, the pictures make the headlines of the world.
 

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