The German Reunification and the Berlin Wall

“United we stand, divided we fall”, this immortal phrase by Aesop speaks about the best that mankind has to offer when it comes to helping each other: Unity.

However, history has showed us that there will always be groups of people that will fight against each other thanks to different ideologies about the best way to rule themselves in order to prosper in this vast world.

The Bradenburg Gate of Berlin

The Bradenburg Gate of Berlin

Brother versus brother fighting in pointless wars that will only end up causing more harm than good.

This is the story of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is the story of the German Reunification. This is the story of people who came together and prospered as brothers instead of fighting each other as enemies.

Are you ready?

Street Art at the Berlin Wall 6

Street Art at the Berlin Wall 1

The Berlin Wall and how it affected tourism

It was the year 1945 when the second World War ended and the winners started to distribute the spoils of war in order to determine who will claim to what. Soon, Berlin became a new battlefield of two opposing ideologies:

The capitalist of the West and the communism of the East. Said battle would continue for many more years until the German Reunification of 1990.

Talking about the reasons that led to the creation of the Berlin Wall is a very complex task but it is commonly accepted that it was a measure used by the East in order to prevent their valuable citizens from fleeing to the prosperous West pursuing their own dreams.

Sunset at the cannals of Berlin

Sunset at the cannals of Berlin

As you can imagine, travel and tourism between East and West Germany was extremely restricted since both foreigners and Germans themselves had to apply for a visa in order to travel to East Germany and were forced to convert their money (Deutsche Marks) to a very unfavorable exchange rate.

If we add the fact that it was forbidden to take East Germany’s currency (East German Marks) with them, you can already imagine the logistical nightmare that said visits were.

The opposite (residents of East Germany wanting to visit West Germany) was even more difficult thanks to the fact that the East German government feared that said citizens would actually flee to the West and stay there, a view similarly shared with Cuba up until recently.

Street Art at the Berlin Wall 2

Street Art at the Berlin Wall 4

Celebrating 25 years of German Reunification

The Berlin Wall was finally demolished in 1989 shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) and the seeds for the German Reunification (which took place in 1990) were finally planted:

Germans wanted to be a reunited with their brothers and sisters from the other side of the wall. Union makes strength and they knew it.

Communist Souvenirs at Berlin

Communist Souvenirs at Berlin

Today, the efforts of the German people for the reunification remain as one of the best displays of humanity and brotherhood that the modern world has seen and it’s an example to follow for other countries with similar situations and schisms that only create divisions instead of encouraging unity.

Taking a walk along the remains of the Berlin Wall and learning about the struggles of the East Berliners who lost their lives trying to cross in order to search for a better lifestyle is truly a humbling experience and can make you relate to the struggle that many political refugees of today experience while trying to escape from the war and oppression of their countries in order to find greener pastures abroad.

After all, aren’t we all citizens of the world?

Street Art at the Berlin Wall 3

Street Art at the Berlin Wall 6

Things you should know before traveling to Berlin, Germany

If you have an active Eurail pass, you can use the public transportation for free too so you don’t have to worry if you’re staying in a district that is located away from the touristy areas of the German capital.

Berlin is home to many cultural and architectural attractions and some of them are even free. If you’re short on time I would recommend you to buy a Welcome Berlin Card with the Museum Pass in order for you to explore all of the five Museums in the Museum Island (although be warned that the Pergamon Museum is undergoing renovations until 2016).

Other points of interest are the East Side Gallery for amazing Street Art of the Berlin Wall, the German National Museum, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the monument to the Jews that were killed during the Holocaust.

If you love clubbing, why not visit Berlin’s Kitkat Club? It has a very…unique dresscode my friends! .

The Street Art of Berlin 1

The Street Art of Berlin 1

Where to stay in Berlin, Germany

Accommodation in Berlin is equally distributed in the many diverse districts of this great metropolis. Here’s a list of my recommendations for all types of budgets:

If you’re looking for luxury and boutique hotels in Berlin my best choices are the Hotel Adlon Kempiski and The Circus Apartments. For budget hostels and guest houses I recommend The Circus Hostel and Saint Christopher’s Inn.

You can make a booking for this and more properties via our Affiliate Link of Wonders!

Same price for you and a small pocket money commission for this website of yours.

Sweet deal, uh?

Clouds at the Bradenburg Tor

Clouds at the Bradenburg Tor

I hope you have enjoyed this travel guide to Berlin’s top attractions. Don’t forget to subscribe in order to get more awesome updates and tips straight to your e-mail!

Have you ever visited Berlin? Would you like to? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: This article was brought to you in collaboration with Visit Berlin. Next time you visit Berlin, be sure to stop by at the Tourist Information office to know all about the current cultural events that you can enjoy in this wonderful city.

The Berlin Wall, once a symbol of oppression, is now an art installation full of inspirational graffiti, thought provoking murals, lessons learned & funky street art. Learn some of Berlin's history by checking out the East Side Gallery via @journeywonders

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26 Responses

  1. Chris Boothman

    I would really love to visit the Berlin Wall simply because of the history that is behind this attraction. Thanks for sharing the history surrounding this, it is particularly beneficial to know before you head to a location like this.

  2. Ron | Active Planet Travels

    I’ve never visited Berlin nor any other part of Germany but I would love to during my tour of Europe. Between the culture, food and history I’d have a field day exploring the country!

  3. Jenna

    Great post–this type of history is always so interesting to learn about. Would love to head there and see the area sometime!

  4. Hannah Logan

    I was in Berlin in 2011 and it was kind of incredible to see the Berlin wall after learning the history (it’s a lot smaller than I thought!)

  5. Charli & Ben

    Wow, fascinating. I hate to see how religion and ideology tears our world apart, but would love to learn more about the history of the wall.

  6. Mytanfeet

    I really want to visit Berlin. The history there is so fascinating!

  7. Sammi Egan

    I love Berlin, I’ve visited twice in last couple of years. I have a friend who lives there- which is handy ;) and stay with her when I visit :) the city is gorgeous. On my most recent visit, in May, we walked from her apartment to the Jewish history museum and walked through a residential street, and the wall went right thru it. My friend walked us to the end of the street, and pulled a photo out of her bag. It was her as a baby in pram in front of the wall with her aunt- who had lived in the house we’d stopped in front of. It was really strange to think that it had affected even her life. That this part of history isn’t that long ago.

  8. Sabina

    This is so cool! I visited Berlin for the first time this January and it totally blew me away – so much history everywhere. Visiting the Berlin Wall was a really emotional and powerful experience for me, so glad I had a chance to pay it a visit!

  9. Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren

    Berlin is definitely on my list of places to visit. Such history, lots to see, plus I’ve heard that the city itself has a great vibe and there’s lots of vegan restaurants for me to eat at :)

  10. SJ

    Fascinating! I missed going here back in 2010, and I have been kicking myself ever since.

  11. Zoë

    I visited Berlin in 1973 and again in 1991 and I can’t wait to return someday soon! Last month, while in the beautiful city of Dresden, Germany I visited the “DDR Museum” in a suburb that is accessible by city tram. There were four floors of collections of everyday items found in every room of homes and garages during Communist times there. It was like a trip down memory lane for anyone from the west born in the 40’s or 50’s. There was a time-line along the walls that was in German. ( It was interesting listening to other visitors telling their younger family members, “I remember we had that …” . In Leipzig, Germany the interior of the St. Nicholas Church is beautiful but even more interesting to me was the history of the Monday prayer-for-peace meetings held in this church from May until October 1989 under the watchful eye and interference of the STASI (State Police). The non-violent movement grew and grew. On October 9, 1989 the 2,000 people leaving the prayer meeting were welcomed by ten thousand supporters of non-violent change. Within a few weeks the party and ideological dictatorship collapsed and the movement spread throughout the DDR. Each place in each city is worth a visit by anyone interested in life behind the “Iron Curtain”.

    • Raphael Alexander Zoren

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Zoe. I definitely want to visit the DDR Museum next time I’m in Dresden. The Iron Curtain sure changed many people’s lives.

  12. Silvia

    I legit started crying at the Museum of Latvian Occupation. It’s crazy how recent all these things were. Being back in Europe is emotional! So, in a couple of weeks I can either spend an extra few days in Poland or visit Berlin. What should I dooooo?? (I spent a summer in Berlin a while ago so probably Poland holds more new adventures, but…)