East Germany proceeds with the perfection of the border system. Meanwhile the West remains passive.Until 1989, almost 5000 escapes are attempted.  Among those, 3000 lead to injury and arrest and 239 result in death.

June 21., 1963     ______________________________

Border area


The East German government establishes a 100-yard border zone between East Germany and West Berlin.East German citizens need a special permit to enter this zone.Foreign nationals are prohibited from entering the zone.

June 21., 1963    _______________________________

John F. Kennedy Visit


The US President, John F. Kennedy, receives a triumphal welcome by the citizens of West Berlin.However, the hopes to see a change for the divided city are not fulfilled.

December 17., 1963    _________________________

permit regulations


After 7 rounds of negotiations between the Senate of Berlin and the East German authorities, an administrative agreement is signed allowing West Berliners to visit their relatives in East Berlin on a limited basis.

1966    _________________________________________



East German border guards begin the construction of watchtowers to better control the death zone and  stop the escape attempts.

December, 1966    _____________________________

border procedures


Negotiations on further permit regulations break down.Visitor traffic slows down.

1968  __________________________________________

 the third generation


East German border guards begin the installation of additional Wall segment made of concrete and topped with pipe-shaped elements, making any escape attempts nearly impossible.

1971   __________________________________________

Border fence


A new fence made of closed knit barbered wire is added.

February, 1971    ______________________________

restructuring of
 the border units


In order to increase effectiveness, the East German border guards are restructured.

May 3., 1971    _________________________________

Honecker becomes the new
Head of the Communist Party


Erich Honecker replaces Ulbricht as head of the Communist Party.  However, the hopes of reforms under the new leadership are soon doomed.  Honecker strengthens both the ideology of the SED regime and the border system (1974 - 1976).

December 17., 1971    _________________________

Transit Agreement


The Treaty for Transit between East and West Germany is signed.

June 3., 1972    ________________________________

Four Powers Agreement


The Four Powers Agreement becomes effective. The status of Berlin remains unchanged.

December 21., 1972    _________________________

Basic Treaty


East and West Germany sign the Basic Treaty.This represents the de facto recognition of East Germany by the West German government.

1974 1976   ___________________________________

Further perfection


Installation of the second wall, deeper into East German territory takes place.  It includes a touch-sensitive, self-firing fence.  
The first Watchtowers become operational one year later.In 1976, the  construction of Generation 4 of the Wall begins. (Grenzmauer 75) The Wall becomes harder to penetrate.Nevertheless, the chain of escape attempts does not end. The East Germans have an untamed desire for freedom and are constantly devising new, smart plans to escape..As a result, East German authorities increase their control of the border structures.  The drowning incident of two young West Berliner kids in the Spree River shows the ruthlessness of the East German border guards. At first, the prevent West German rescuers from saving the children.  Eventually they make their own efforts to help them, but it is too late.

October 7., 1977    _____________________________



East Germans do not back the policy and measures of the SED - Regime.Especially among the younger adults, there is increasing opposition. On October 7, 1977 - the National Holiday - heavy clashes are reported between younger attendants and the Police Forces.The crowd demands: "Down with the Wall!" To subdue the crowd, however, the police force responds with lethal force.  Three teenagers die.

October13., 1980    ____________________________

Mandatory currency
exchange at the border


East Germany's economic situation is more difficult than ever.Hard currency is needed to pay for vital raw materials and consumer goods from the West. In order to fill the empty treasury, the Eastern government alters the currency exchange and increases it to an artificially high rateIn turn, he visitors stop coming.