Walled in! The inner German border is a computer animation produced by Deutsche Welle and the Berlin Wall Foundation to mark the 20th anniversary of the wall’s fall.

The short movie describes the fortifications and how the border between East and West Germany was set up, and it’s an excellent resource for those who want to know more about it.

Mainly because the Berlin Wall only exists in the memory of those people that experienced it. A few preserved stretches around Berlin remain an abstract idea; sometimes, it’s hard to picture how a city as big as Berlin was split in two with a wall in the middle. At least for me, it was a difficult concept to measure.

Walled in! – The inner German border uses two memorials as the starting point for the video. The computer-animated documentary starts at Bernauer Straße and Ackerstraße, where the Berlin Wall Memorial stands today. There you can see the Church of Reconciliation that was demolished back in 1985 and was replaced with the Chapel of Reconciliation after the German reunification.

For me, movies like this one are essential since they explain an almost distant concept like the Berlin Wall. When I was growing up in Brazil, history classes didn’t manage to tell me what the wall was and why people were trying to jump to the other side. My classes sound weak now, but I’ve met a few people around Berlin that were surprised when they learned more about the wall and realized that they learned something different growing up.

Walled in! – The inner German border also shows another side of the border, a place most people don’t even remember existed. That is the border between East and West Germany in the area today known as Border Memorial Hötensleben.

This was the border between the two countries, 1,378km wide and filled with defences. Some of them only existed there, like landmines, guard dogs and automatic firing devices attached to trip wires that would make escape something almost impossible. Today you can visit the Border Memorial Hötensleben and stand where the border guards used to. It must be quite an experience to be able to stand there.

Walled in! – The inner German border is a fantastic documentary that shows how the Berlin Wall worked and explains, in an easy to understand way, how the German border used to be from 1961 to 1989.

Back in 1999, local historian Christian Bormann found something that it wasn’t supposed to be lost. Nine years after demolition began, he found a piece of the Berlin Wall, somehow forgotten in the woods between a train station and a supermarket. More than 80 meters of the original Berlin Wall, built in 1961, is standing there, some with the V-shaped brackets that once had barbed wire on it. It’s hard to believe that something with this historical importance was lost and this is why we went there to see it with our own eyes.
Close to the Bundestag is where you can find the Parliament of Trees against War and Violence. In german, this place is called Parlament der Bäume gegen Krieg und Gewalt and is a memorial for the people who died trying to cross the Berlin Wall. Ben Wagin, a performance artist that lives in Berlin since 1957, is the person responsible for creating this memorial at the border strip.
Fotostrasse and the Berlin Wall next to Topography of Terror

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