AREA D: EVERYDAY LIFE AT AT THE WALL

Area D of the memorial differs from the other exhibition areas because buildings are being erected along the street here. The exhibition grounds are therefore limited to an area along the former patrol path and to individual exhibition elements on the sidewalk. The focus of this exhibition area is on “Everyday Life at the Wall.” Two of the four exhibition segments in this area opened in 2012. The last two exhibition segments were completed in 2014.

Three exhibition stations lie between Brunnenstrasse and Ruppiner Strasse. The “Wall and West Berlin” describes how the Wall affected the enclosed West side of the city. After the Wall was built, core areas of Berlin, such as the southern Wedding district, were suddenly situated on the periphery of the city. Construction of at least ten escape tunnels began on Bernauer Strasse between 1962 and 1971, but only three were successful. The exhibition station “Escape Agents and Tunnel Builders” describes these daring escape projects. The third station addresses aspects of the border soldiers’ daily routine. Border soldiers subjected residents of the border area to daily surveillance. They were expected to shoot at mostly unarmed and innocent people if they were otherwise unable to prevent their escape. Many guards managed to avoid serving duty by crossing the border themselves.

The exhibit station “The Wall in Politics” shows how the West German federal government and the West Berlin Senate drew attention to the Wall and its consequences for the city during state visits and vigils. The second exhibition station is dedicated to “The Cold War and the Media.” The Wall served – on both sides – as the backdrop for political confrontation and propaganda about the city’s division. The conflict, carried about mostly with posters, was accompanied by the “battle of the loudspeakers,” during which both sides used mobile loudspeakers to communicate their political messages in the early 1960s.

The exhibition area “Observing, Helping, Protecting: The Western View of the Wall,” situated between Wollinerstrasse and Schwedter Strasse, describes the significance of the Wall for West Berlin and its residents. The final exhibition station, “The Wall and its Fall on Schwedter Strasse,” completes the presentation.

Area D