The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.
- Walls in the mind often stand longer than those built of concrete.
- Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall.
- Ronald Reagan
- On June 12, 1987, just over two years before the astonishing events of 1989, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, speaking within sight of the Brandenburg Gate and with the Berlin Wall at his back, demanded those mentioned words.
- Jehovah's Witnesses 1999 yearbook; Germany.
- General Secretary Gorbachev’s policy of restructuring brings with it, for the first time since the end of World War II, a justifiable hope of overcoming the East-West conflict.
- I am not the one trying to speed things up. We are being driven.
- Helmut Kohl
- On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. The idea of German reunification, often discussed but considered unrealistic, once again became a subject of heated debate. Reunification now appeared inevitable, but scarcely anyone ventured to prophesy how soon it would come. German chancellor Helmut Kohl remarked those mentioned words when was accused of pushing unification plans too fast.
- Awake! magazine, December 22, 1991; in its article The Dream of European Unity.
- The fall of Wall Street is for market fundamentalism what the fall of the Berlin Wall was for communism.