3 The Wall (physical structure)

Brandon O., Finley C. and Joshua C.

The Berlin wall was 155km long and had over 203 military towers. It was made in four different stages. The first stage in 1961 was a full wire fence. In 1962 the Berlin wall was improved a more sophisticated wire fence. In 1965 the next part of the walls generation was a concrete wall from there it went on to the final development in 1975 which is known as the Grenzmauer (Border Wall) and was the most advanced structural design.

The wall had a parallel wall which was around 100 meters across which was called the “death strip”; this section was equipped with sand or gravel that was used to easily locate foot prints of fugitives. The Death Strip provided no cover for escapees and delivered a clear line of fire for the wall guards.

The final expansion of the wall, known as the Grenzmauer, took 5 years to build. It was made up of around 45000 units of concrete each around 3.6 meters high and 1.2 meters tall.  The whole wall cost about US$3, 638,000. The wall was armed with weak sections so that eastern Germany and the Soviet Union could break through in the case of a war. Also behind the wall was reinforced with mesh fencing, signal fencing, trenches, dogs on the line, beds of nails, 116 watch towers and twenty military bunkers.

When the Berlin wall was put up it was just a boring long wall of concrete, but over time the wall became covered in graffiti art. The vast amount of graffiti gave it the title of the “Longest Graffiti Canvas”. The wall was used for people to express their opinions through graffiti. Although there were many great works of art on the wall not many people actually claimed their artworks. The most controversial artworks were removed because they caused unrest amongst the greater public, the reason these artworks were so controversial were because they were mostly political slogans about the state of Germany and many other countries around the world. This meant that the wall was a place for the public to put up their beliefs on topics.


  1. How long was the Berlin Wall?
  2. Name and explain what the area between both of the walls is and what purpose it serves?


  1. Explain how you would try and escape across the Berlin Wall?





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