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Berlin Wall Fast Facts

Here's some background information about the ...

Posted: Aug 8, 2018 11:29 AM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 11:29 AM

Here's some background information about the Berlin Wall, which enclosed West Berlin from 1961 to 1989, in an attempt to prevent East Berliners from fleeing to the West. It became a symbol of East/West relations during the Cold War.

The Wall:
The Berlin Wall began as a temporary border of barbed wire fencing and evolved into a fortified concrete barrier with armed East German border guards.

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East Germany militarized the entire border with the West, laying more than one million land mines and deploying around 3,000 attack dogs.

The wall between East and West Berlin was nearly 12 feet high and approximately 27 miles long, containing 302 guard towers and 55,000 anti-personnel explosive devices (landmines).

To prevent attempts to scale the wall or escape by digging underneath, the wall was reinforced with wires, mines, pipes, trenches and wire-mesh fencing.

A wide-open area of dirt and sand, a buffer zone between the two walls, became known as "no man's land" or the "death strip," where guards in more than 300 watch towers could shoot anyone trying to escape.

On border grounds, 140 people died either by gunshot, by fatal accident while trying to escape, or suicide.

The most famous border crossing was known as Checkpoint Charlie.

Timeline:
February 4-11, 1945 - In the face of Germany's defeat in World War II, the Allies' Yalta Conference agrees to divide Germany into four zones of occupation: Great Britain, France and the United States occupy the western and southern portions, and the Soviet Union occupies the eastern. Berlin, located in Soviet territory, is also divided into east and west zones.

1949 - The western and southern zones occupied by Britain, France and the United States become West Germany (The Federal Republic of Germany). The Soviet zone becomes the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany. West Germany is a democratic republic. East Germany is a communist country aligned with the Soviet Union.

1949-1961 - More than two million East Germans escape to the West. Foreign citizens, West Germans, West Berliners and Allied military personnel are permitted to enter East Berlin, but East Berliners need a special pass to leave.

August 12, 1961 - East German Communist Party leader Walter Ulbricht signs the order for a barricade separating East and West Berlin.

August 13, 1961 - East German security forces chief Erich Honecker orders police and troops to erect a barbed wire fence and began construction of concrete barricades.

August 18, 1961 - US Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and retired General Lucius Clay fly to Berlin as a show of US support for West Germany.

August 21, 1961 - Approximately 1,500 US troops arrive in West Berlin.

August 23, 1961 - West Berliners without permits are banned from entering East Berlin.

June 26, 1963 - US President John F. Kennedy speaks to an enthusiastic crowd at West Berlin's old Schoeneberg Rathaus (city hall): "Today in the world of freedom the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner' ('I am a Berliner') all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'"

September 12-13, 1964 - The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visits Berlin at the invitation of West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt. King delivers a sermon on both sides of the wall titled "East or West -- God's Children."

September 1971 - An agreement is reached allowing West Berlin and East Berlin to import and export goods.

December 1972 - West and East Germany sign a treaty normalizing diplomatic relations and recognizing each other's sovereignty.

June 12, 1987 - In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, US President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet General Secretary of the Communist Party Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the USSR, to "tear down this wall!"

April 3, 1989 - GDR border guards are instructed to stop "using firearms to prevent border violations."

October 18, 1989 - Communist Party chief Honecker is ousted and is replaced by Egon Krenz.

November 1, 1989 - More than a half million people participate in a pro-freedom rally in East Berlin, demanding free elections.

November 2, 1989 - Krenz announces sweeping political and economic reforms.

November 6, 1989 - A preliminary law is passed that gives all citizens travel and emigration rights.

November 7, 1989 - The East German cabinet resigns. Almost half of the members of the Politburo are removed and replaced the next day.

November 9, 1989 - East Germany lifts travel restrictions to the West. Politburo member Guenter Schabowski announces that East German citizens can "leave the country through East German border crossing points," effective immediately.

November 9-10, 1989 - Jubilant crowds tear down the wall piece by piece using their hands, pickaxes, sledgehammers and shovels.

November 10-11, 1989 - Several new crossing points are opened, and tens of thousands of people cross over into West Berlin.

October 3, 1990 - East and West Germany officially become reunified under the name the Federal Republic of Germany.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
St. Joseph34157541
Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
Porter17935299
Johnson17544374
Hendricks16822310
Clark12697190
Madison12353337
Vigo12219244
Monroe11469166
LaPorte11162204
Delaware10366184
Howard9664211
Kosciusko9134114
Hancock7990139
Bartholomew7893155
Warrick7691155
Floyd7563176
Wayne6906198
Grant6844171
Boone6556100
Morgan6405138
Dubois6085117
Marshall5786108
Dearborn570376
Cass5685102
Henry5579101
Noble542683
Jackson493569
Shelby479495
Lawrence4342118
Gibson429089
Harrison428570
Clinton419753
Montgomery418086
DeKalb411184
Whitley380239
Huntington379880
Miami372865
Knox366689
Steuben365757
Putnam353160
Jasper350946
Wabash347878
Adams338052
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308454
Daviess289499
Wells286481
Decatur279092
Fayette277262
Greene270785
Posey268833
Scott261153
LaGrange253670
Clay253544
Randolph235680
Washington231031
Spencer228031
Jennings225047
Fountain208845
Sullivan207942
Starke204752
Owen192356
Fulton192039
Jay186429
Carroll185920
Perry180736
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton161043
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113845
Newton104234
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82915
Warren79715
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1054807

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1225191356
Cuyahoga1074592069
Hamilton783261168
Montgomery50176996
Summit45557909
Lucas40298765
Butler37768570
Stark31513895
Lorain24246473
Warren23910293
Mahoning20946583
Lake20067362
Clermont19459229
Delaware18085130
Licking16149207
Fairfield15757197
Trumbull15627460
Medina14922259
Greene14706236
Clark13660293
Wood12806185
Portage12431196
Allen11352229
Richland11067198
Miami10548214
Muskingum8717127
Wayne8594209
Columbiana8569226
Pickaway8439121
Marion8390135
Tuscarawas8387240
Erie7600154
Hancock6730123
Ross6707146
Geauga6553146
Ashtabula6530165
Scioto6295101
Belmont5634158
Union558447
Lawrence5470102
Jefferson5343147
Huron5314114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5189120
Seneca5139120
Washington5087107
Athens503856
Auglaize476284
Mercer471984
Shelby456590
Knox4397108
Madison423959
Putnam421799
Ashland413488
Fulton410567
Defiance404296
Crawford3883101
Brown386955
Logan374476
Preble371098
Clinton362160
Ottawa357978
Highland347459
Williams328674
Champaign321557
Jackson308551
Guernsey307549
Perry290549
Fayette278048
Morrow275939
Hardin264764
Henry264366
Coshocton259857
Holmes253499
Van Wert239262
Pike233831
Gallia233446
Adams229152
Wyandot227553
Hocking209759
Carroll189447
Paulding168838
Meigs141738
Noble132937
Monroe128941
Morgan106823
Harrison105636
Vinton81614
Unassigned02
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Significantly cold air settles in across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio Tuesday night.
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