‘The Day the Wall Went Up’: BBC documentary marks 50th anniversary of Berlin Wall

August 19, 2011

Produced by BBC World Service

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(AP Photo)
AP Photographer Peter Hillebrecht was the first to cover the historic construction of the Berlin Wall.

On Sunday, August 13, 1961, East Berliners awoke to find telephone wires cut and the beginnings of a wall that would ultimately extend for over 100 miles. The wall, more than a mere physical boundary between East and West Germany, was a barrier to living life as usual, separating people from family, friends and jobs for 28 years. In so doing, it became the iconic symbol of the Cold War.

On the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's erection, The BBC’s Gerry Northam examines the Wall’s political context and revisits the day that signified the peak of the Cold War, the constant threat of nuclear war and the human price paid for entrenched ideologies.

"The Day the Wall Went Up" was provided by the BBC World Service.