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In April 1994, the German federal government, represented by the German Historical Museum, held a competition for the design of a national monument for the victims of the Berlin Wall and the German division that was to be erected at the historical site on Bernauer Strasse. Three of the 259 competition participants received the second prize: Bühren and Schulz from Allensbach, Winkler and Thiel from Berlin, and Kohlhoff&Kohlhoff from Stuttgart. The jury did not award a first prize.

In July 1995 the federal government, which hosted the competition, decided that the design proposal by Kohlhoff&Kohlhoff should be realized. This design called for the integration of the remaining evidence of the original border fortifications at Bernauer Strasse, and sought to reinforce and embellish them through artistic means.

The competition followed a long and controversial discussion that had gone on for many years about the appropriate form and design of commemoration. The monument, whose two steel walls enclosed a preserved 70-meter long section of the original border fortifications, was officially dedicated on August 13, 1998. Its inscription reads:

“In memory of the division of the city from August 13, 1961 to November 9, 1989 and in commemoration of the victims of Communist tyranny.”

Denkmals für die Opfer des Mauerbaus und der deutschen Teilung, 09.11. 2006

On November 9, 2006,
photo: A. Schölzel, Berlin Wall Memorial