PHOTOS: The fall of the Berlin Wall

East and West German citizens celebrate as they climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced in Berlin, Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
East and West German citizens celebrate as they climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced in Berlin, Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop East Germans fleeing to the West. It began as a barbed wire and cinderblock wall and was then fortified as a heavily guarded 160-km (100-mile) white concrete barrier that encircled West Berlin.

At least 138 people were killed trying to escape to West Berlin, and many who were captured ended up in jail. 

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Communist regimes collapsed in the face of popular uprisings across Eastern Europe in 1989, signaling the end of the Cold War, of which the Berlin Wall had become the starkest symbol.

Germans, whose national pride was shattered by Nazism, the Second World War and the Holocaust, have proudly focused on the peaceful East German revolution that felled the wall in November 1989 as a rare and bright shining moment in their modern history. (Reuters)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

A man hammers a section of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
A man hammers a section of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
People climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border. (Photo: Herbert Knosowski/Reuters)
People climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border. (Photo: Herbert Knosowski/Reuters)
Berliners take a hammer and chisel to a section of the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
Berliners take a hammer and chisel to a section of the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
An East Berlin citizen embraces a West Berlin woman while an East German border soldier watches on at the Invalidenstrasse checkpoint after the opening of the East German border. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
An East Berlin citizen embraces a West Berlin woman while an East German border soldier watches on at the Invalidenstrasse checkpoint after the opening of the East German border. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
West Berlin citizens continued their vigil atop the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Nov. 10, 1989. Thousands of people rallied on the dividing border. (Photo: Reuters)
West Berlin citizens continued their vigil atop the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Nov. 10, 1989. Thousands of people rallied on the dividing border. (Photo: Reuters)
East German citizens help each other climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate on Nov. 10, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
East German citizens help each other climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate on Nov. 10, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
People climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate as they celebrate the opening of the East German border on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Herbert Knosowski/Reuters)
People climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate as they celebrate the opening of the East German border on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Herbert Knosowski/Reuters)
West Berlin citizens welcome East Germans who passed the Invalidenstrasse border checkpoint with an East German Trabant car after the opening of the border. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
West Berlin citizens welcome East Germans who passed the Invalidenstrasse border checkpoint with an East German Trabant car after the opening of the border. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
An East German bulldozer and crane knock down the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz to make way for a new border crossing on Nov. 12, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
An East German bulldozer and crane knock down the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz to make way for a new border crossing on Nov. 12, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
An East German border soldier looks through a large hole in the Berlin Wall on Feb. 8, 1990. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
An East German border soldier looks through a large hole in the Berlin Wall on Feb. 8, 1990. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
East German workers remove concrete parts of the Berlin Wall and load them onto trucks at the newly opened border crossing point at Potsdamer Platz on Nov. 14, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
East German workers remove concrete parts of the Berlin Wall and load them onto trucks at the newly opened border crossing point at Potsdamer Platz on Nov. 14, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
East German Trabant cars make their way past East Germans who had crossed the former Rudolphstein border checkpoint in Bavaria on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
East German Trabant cars make their way past East Germans who had crossed the former Rudolphstein border checkpoint in Bavaria on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
Border guards repair a section of the Berlin Wall after protesters had knocked it over earlier during the day on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
Border guards repair a section of the Berlin Wall after protesters had knocked it over earlier during the day on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
Hundreds of East Berlin border guards stand atop the Berlin Wall at the Brandeburg Gate faced by thousands of West Berliners on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
Hundreds of East Berlin border guards stand atop the Berlin Wall at the Brandeburg Gate faced by thousands of West Berliners on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
West Berliners welcome an East Berlin citizen crossing the border at the Allies' Checkpoint Charlie on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
West Berliners welcome an East Berlin citizen crossing the border at the Allies' Checkpoint Charlie on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
East German citizens help each other climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg gate on Nov. 10, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
East German citizens help each other climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg gate on Nov. 10, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
East Berliners cross and meet West Berliners at Potsdamer Platz after the Berlin Wall was torn down, making way for a new border crossing on Nov. 12, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
East Berliners cross and meet West Berliners at Potsdamer Platz after the Berlin Wall was torn down, making way for a new border crossing on Nov. 12, 1989. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
West German citizens sit atop the Berlin Wall near Checkpoint Charlie on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
West German citizens sit atop the Berlin Wall near Checkpoint Charlie on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
West Berlin citizens welcome East Germans who passed the Invalidenstrasse border checkpoint on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
West Berlin citizens welcome East Germans who passed the Invalidenstrasse border checkpoint on Nov. 9, 1989. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
West Germans applaud as East Berlin citizens travel through Checkpoint Charlie on Nov. 10, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
West Germans applaud as East Berlin citizens travel through Checkpoint Charlie on Nov. 10, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
A young West German girl smiles at her father as she points to a large hole in the Berlin Wall on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
A young West German girl smiles at her father as she points to a large hole in the Berlin Wall on Nov. 11, 1989. (Photo: Reuters)
An East German border soldier looks at a man hammering a section of the wall near Checkpoint Charlie on June 2, 1990. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
An East German border soldier looks at a man hammering a section of the wall near Checkpoint Charlie on June 2, 1990. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
A young West German carves into the Berlin Wall with a rock on Nov. 19, 1989. (Photo: Michael Urban/Reuters)
A young West German carves into the Berlin Wall with a rock on Nov. 19, 1989. (Photo: Michael Urban/Reuters)
An East Berlin border guard hands a flower back to West Berlin citizens sitting atop the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Reuters)
An East Berlin border guard hands a flower back to West Berlin citizens sitting atop the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Reuters)

_____

Download the Yahoo News app to customize your experience.

See more galleries from Yahoo News Photo:

What to read next