Berlin divided: a look behind the Iron Curtain
For decades after the Second World War, there were two Berlins: one a bastion of the West behind the Iron Curtain, the other a capital city vying to demonstrate the superiority of Communism. Learn how the Allied Powers divided Berlin into four sectors at the end of the War and see where three of those sectors converged at Potsdamer Platz – a square that now boasts some of the city’s most impressive contemporary architecture and that has become a symbol of the new Berlin. Walk down “Stalinallee”, the representative boulevard in the East with its wedding-cake architecture designed to illustrate Communist might in light of the Cold War.
Visit the Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse and get a sense of the complexity of the security measures designed to prevent East Germans from reaching West Berlin. Learn about the risks many nonetheless took to escape and thus thwart the efforts of the notorious state security service, the Stasi.
Visit Gethsemane Church in Prenzlauer Berg, where many courageous East German civil rights activists gathered in the late 1980s to protest the regime and helped usher in the peaceful revolution that culminated in Germany’s reunification. See where these efforts first led to the breaching of the Wall at Bornholmer Strasse and end at the longest stretch of the Wall still intact, the Eastside Gallery, which has been turned into an impressive open-air artwork.