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The Berlin Wall's 50th anniversary: A visual history
This weekend, Germans contemplated the barrier that divided the city for 28 years and came to define the Cold War
 
Berlin Wall's 50th anniversary: A visual history Hannibal Hanschke/CORBIS

While Berlin was alive this weekend — with public dance performances, speeches, and art works (including the temporary installation pictured above) — the focus of the spectacle was a dark moment in the German city's history: The Berlin Wall. Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of Aug. 13, 1961, when residents awoke to find barbed-wire barricades as well as road- and rail-blocks where an open border once stood between East and West Berlin. For 28 years the wall segregating family and friends was patrolled by soldiers tasked with apprehending anyone trying to cross it without appropriate documentation. Here, a look at the construction, eventual demolition, and haunting legacy of the Wall.

 

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