"The construction of the Berlin Wall put an abrupt and violent end to daily life, leaving traces that are visible even today on Bernauer Strasse. The sealing off of the sector border starting on 13 August 1961 made dramatic changes especially in the everyday lives of the people living on Bernauer Strasse. From one day to the next, they could no longer travel freely through their own neighborhood, and neighbors, friends, and relatives were separated from one another. The house across the street was suddenly part of another political system. Through no fault of their own and against their will, the people of Bernauer Strasse became eyewitnesses to and actors in an episode of post-war German history.
In desperation, people jumped out of the windows of apartments bordering West Berlin and paid with their lives. Some of the Bernauer Strasse escape attempts succeeded, however. Cameras and film crews brought these scenes to a watching world." from Berlin Wall Memorial
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Learn more about the Wall and the Cold War with materials in the AFPLS collection. There are selections for the history book to young readers.