Construction of the Berlin Wall
13th August 2021 - 60th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall.
At midnight on 12th August 1961, the police and units of the East German army started to close the border and by Sunday morning, 13th August, the border with West Berlin was closed. East German troops and workers had begun to tear up streets running alongside the border to make them impassable to most vehicles and to install barbed wire entanglements and fences along the 156 kilometres around the three western sectors, and the 43 kilometres that divided West and East Berlin.
Later, the initial barrier was built up into the Wall proper, the first concrete elements and large blocks being put in place on 17th August. During the construction of the Wall, National People's Army (NVA) soldiers stood in front of it with orders to shoot anyone who attempted to defect. Additionally, chain fences, walls, minefields and other obstacles were installed along the length of East Germany's western border with West Germany proper. A huge no man's land was cleared to provide a clear line of fire at fleeing refugees.