How everything began

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The Wall is now here

Around the globe, on every continent, in a multitude of countries… some of them are roofed over or displayed behind glass, some are rather weathered, others are continuously restored. Segments are put up in backyards, on prominent squares and private properties, at symbolic places, in museums and bars… on the parking lot of the CIA  and in the garden of the pope, at a software-giant and at ex-presidents’ sites, in homes and offices of actors, politicians, artists, engaged and brave people and institutions…

The Wall has to be cleared off

In november 1989 the inner-german border facilities should be cleared off as soon as possible, especially within Berlin. Until the end of 1990, a big part of the Berlin Wall was gone. Some parts of it  remain as historical places, but a huge amount of Wall segments was sold or given away or auctioned all over the world.

Berlin, November 1989

While Günther Schabowski is discussing how to handle the sudden and putative opening of the Wall with other members of GDR government , they receive a fax message from the USA: Buy the Berlin Wall. Complete. Pay 50 Million USD.

The sell-out starts

The GDR leaders are electrified: They smell big business. Meanwhile, Mauerspechte are deconstructing  piece by piece the Cold War symbol.

The journey begins

Result of the sell-out: Via the East German firm LIMEX, and later via the German Ministry of Defense, more than 360 complete Berlin Wall segments were sold to solvent clients from all over the world or given away. Some slabs were auctioned media-effective in Monte Carlo. Certificate of origin, stamp and signature included.

Today

The Berlin Wall is still standing. Deconstructed in segments, each 3.6 m high, 1.2 m wide, 2.7 t in weight. They have become memorials, monuments, object d’arts, pieces for collectors, bizarre decorative elements. You can touch it, walk around it, take a break beside it, marvel at it, remember the history with it.

Initiating research

At some places the Wall segments remain almost unnoticed, hidden by trees and bushes. Sometimes they are placed in a backyard. But mostly they are displayed in the center of a square, prominent and demonstrative. Or even stand in the way to call the original function to mind.

The bulwark becomes a network

The Wall Net documents the current sites of Berlin Wall. A lot of them are already included on this blog. But there is still a huge number waiting to be integrated here. Therefore, this is an open platform which is grateful for any further valuable information.

The Wall Net supports today’s symbolism and inverses the initial function of the Berlin Wall. The leftovers of the Anti-Fascist Protection Wall are no longer dividing but joining elements – beyond borders, cultures and ideologies.

Note

This project is non-scientific, non-commercial and not all-round concerning the Wall.
The Berlin Wall stood for ideological separation with devastating consequences. It is related to incredible sorrow and tragedies but also courage and commitment of many people. It is important not to lose sight of both aspects – for this end the Wall segments stand around the world.
Here, only a silent tribute is paid to all of this, and only a tiny aspect of the post-transformation is picked up. For a deeper or a more extensive work on it, other resources are available, i.e. the website Chronicle of the Berlin Wall.

This Blog lives on the input of its users. All facts were and will be accurately researched, gathered and are hopefully faultless. Primarily the internet was used as source. In principle, all used information might be picked up there by anybody with appropriate efforts. References are given only if necessary. Wherever possible, links on current sites are set, mostly with detailed background information.

As it is with projects like this, in spite of all good intentions: Mistakes might happen. My fault.

Rainer Janicki, autumn 2014

 

Photo/background:
© „891121c berlin potsdamer platz“ by Frits Wiarda – own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

DPA-Telex:
Von WrittenbyEigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia