AREA A: THE WALL AND THE DEATH STRIP

Area A shows how the Berlin Wall functioned as the central element used by the SED dictatorship to secure its power. It vividly illustrates the brutality of the border regime and shows its role in the system to prevent escapes and limit freedom of movement. It also elucidates how the city and the people living in the East and the West were affected by these changes.

A subject station “The Wall and the Border Strip” uses Bernauer Strasse to show how the border fortifications changed and expanded over time. Reactions of people in the East and West and the outcome of a few escape attempts are conveyed through videos, audio recordings, photographs, and documents.

Archeological windows on Bergstrasse, a street that was largely preserved beneath the border strip, show older layers of the border fortifications that were entrenched in the street and details of the border fortification system. In addition to the archeological findings that have been made visible, information is provided by the subject station “Blocking Off Bergstrasse.”

The border strip ran through the cemetery of the Sophien parish. After 1961, the border fortifications extended over an almost forty-meter-wide strip of land, making the cemetery unusable in this area. The subject station “The Wall at the Sophien Parish Cemetery” describes how the grounds changed over time. It documents how graves had to be moved to accommodate the expansion of the border and how this affected the relatives of people who were buried here.

The “Window of Remembrance” is also integrated into this area of the memorial grounds. The victims at the Berlin Wall who when they died had their individuality taken away from them by the border regime are honored here with their names and a photo.

Area A

The Memorial Grounds, Area A

The Memorial Grounds, Area A
Click to enlarge