The Berlin Wall started to go up on 13th August 1961, to prevent people in East Berlin escaping into West Berlin. For decades, it seem impenetrable. And indestructible. Over time, 100 - 200 people died trying to escape over the wall. Then in 1989, after a series of escalating protests by ever increasing numbers of East Germans, the border was opened on 9th November. A year later, Germany was unified. It is a rare case of the human spirit overcoming brutal tyranny, largely peacefully. It also helps to restore our hope in us human beings.
Today most of the Berlin Wall has been dismantled. With just a few sections remaining as a memorial. One the left hand side is the former West Berlin; the right hand side, East Berlin.
Check Point C (Charlie) was the main crossing between East and West Berlin. Can you tell which photo is looking towards the Charlie Checkpoint from West Berlin, and which is looking towards the East? Today we walk freely from the west to the east, and then circle back. Between 1961 and 1989, it would have been unimaginable. Things can certainly change. Sometimes it happens rather quickly. But it can also take a long long time.
Numerous murals have been pointed on a section of the Berlin Wall called the East Side Gallery. One of them depicts the East German leader Erich Honecker passionately kissing the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Another one remembers the Soviet dissident and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov. Some of them are direct and easy to read. Others are more subtle.