November 9th 2019 marks 30 years since one of the most important events in Germany’s history – the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a momentous step towards freedom and unification in Germany, but how much do you know about it? Try our quiz and learn a few fun facts – it’s the next best thing to taking a SANDEMANs-promoted tour of Berlin!
When was the Berlin Wall built?
Construction on the Wall was triggered by a tense standoff between Allied and Soviet tanks at the East-West German border. John F. Kennedy reportedly commented that, though regrettable, the wall was ‘a hell of a lot better than a war’
How many people defected from East Germany to West Germany before the Berlin Wall was completed?
Before the wall was built, Berlin was one of the easiest places for defectors to move to West Germany. Many people - particularly skilled labourers and the well-educated - fled westwards. At its peak, as many a 5,000 people a day left East Germany for the West.
Which countries governed East and West Berlin’s different ‘Sectors’?
Both Germany and Berlin were divided into a number of separate zones after the end of World War II. Berlin was located deep within East Germany, which made travel between West Berlin and the West very difficult!
What was the Freidrichstrasse 'Checkpoint C' better known as?
Only foreigners and representatives of the Allied forces could cross at this point, though some East German citizens made daring escapes hidden in diplomatic and military vehicles!
What unofficial name did Western media and propaganda give to the wall?
The East German authorities referred to the wall officially as the ‘Antifascist Protection Wall’, and was supposedly a safeguard against people and ideas which would undermine the communist regime.
The East German authorities defended the crossing with over 55,000…
The no-man’s land between East and West Berlin was known as the ‘Death Strip’, where escapees risked being shot by border guards. Sadly, it is estimated that at least 140 people were killed while attempting to make the crossing.
How long was the Berlin Wall?
The portion of the wall which separated East and West Berlin was only 27 miles long. However, the wall actually had to encircle all of West Berlin as it was surrounded by Soviet-controlled East Germany! You can even cycle this route, which is known as the Mauerweg (Wall Route)
The single ‘Looking for Freedom’ was #1 in the West German charts when the Berlin Wall was torn down in late 1989. But who sung it?
All three of these artists sung concerts in Berlin, but only one had the gyrating hips necessary to take down the wall 🕺🙊
How many people successfully defected to West Berlin from the East whilst the wall was up?
Although millions defected before a physical barrier was built, the Wall stopped many more - though not everyone - from fleeing. Escape methods included tunnels, a tank, and hot air balloons!
What does ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ mean?
These words were spoken by John F. Kennedy on a 1963 visit to West Berlin in a speech where he expressed his solidarity with people both sides of the Wall.