On the 13th August it will be the 50th Anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. As you can imagine, there are a number of things going on in Berlin and in the run up to that date we will be posting some of them here on the Circus Blog so that you can go and check them out. To see what we have covered so far, click here.
By far the best place to visit in Berlin if you want to have a greater understanding of the Berlin Wall and how it impacted on people’s lives in the city is the Documentation Centre on Bernauer Strasse. As well as the centre itself, which has recently moved to a new, purpose-built building nearby, there is a remaining section of the wall, including the death strip, that is maintained as a memorial site to the German division. Close by is the Chapel of Reconciliation, built after the wall came down on the site of another church that was inside the wall fortifications and eventually demolished by the East German regime.
This section of the Bernauer Strasse was also the location of dramatic scenes on the night the wall was built, as well as an area of the city where many escape tunnels were built and, tragically, the spot where a number of people died in their attempt to flee into the west, and there are quite a few small memorials and information boards that can give you a sense of the history and make it an extremely worthwhile place to visit if you want to find out more.
Over the next few days the main Commemorative Events surrounding the anniversary of the building of the Wall will be taking place here. Below you can find a quick overview, but for the full programme and details of what is happening, you should visit the 50jahremauerbau website.
Commemorative Events on Saturday 13th August 2011
* Readings about the lives of people killed at the Berlin Wall, 1.00 a.m. until 8.30 a.m, Chapel of Reconciliation
* Conversations with contemporary witnesses, 15.00 p.m. to 18.00 p.m., behind the Documentation Center Bernauerstrasse 111
* “Contemporary History Information Mile”, 12.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., Bernauerstrasse/Gartenstrasse
* Open-air-cinema, 11 – 13 August 2011, 9.00 p.m., Bernauerstrasse/Ackerstrasse
The Berlin Wall Documentation Centre, the Chapel of Reconciliation, and the Bernauer Strasse itself are all a short walk up the Brunnenstrasse from the Circus, or you can take the U-Bahn one stop north from Rosenthaler Strasse. If you would like to find out more about the Documentation Centre, you can find the website here.