In Images: Berlin Wall at 50

By Callie Oettinger

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. This is the fifth of a series of posts about the Wall, events leading to its construction, world reactions to its existence—and decades later, its removal.

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Berlin Command face off against police from the former East Germany during one of several standoffs at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961. On several occasions that year, a U.S. quick reaction force of tanks and infantry Soldiers. Credit: U.S. Army.

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Berlin Command face off against police from the former East Germany during one of several standoffs at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961. On several occasions that year, a U.S. quick reaction force of tanks and infantry Soldiers. Credit: U.S. Army.

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Berlin Command face off against police from the former East Germany during one of several standoffs at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961. On several occasions that year, a U.S. quick reaction force of tanks and infantry Soldiers. Credit: U.S. Army.

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Berlin Command face off against police from the former East Germany during one of several standoffs at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961. On several occasions that year, a U.S. quick reaction force of tanks and infantry Soldiers. Credit: U.S. Army.

U. S. Army tanks face off against Soviet armor at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, October 1961. Credit: U.S. Army.

U. S. Army tanks face off against Soviet armor at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, October 1961. Credit: U.S. Army.

A U.S. tank crew stands guard at Checkpoint Charlie in West Berlin in 1961 during one of several standoffs between U.S. personnel and East German police that year. Credit: U.S. Army.

A U.S. tank crew stands guard at Checkpoint Charlie in West Berlin in 1961 during one of several standoffs between U.S. personnel and East German police that year. Credit: U.S. Army.

Berlin, August 14, 1961. Credit: National Archives.

Berlin, August 14, 1961. Credit: National Archives.

Building the Berlin Wall. Credit: National Archives.

Building the Berlin Wall. Credit: National Archives.

Engineering the Berlin Tunnel. Credit: CIA.

Engineering the Berlin Tunnel. Credit: CIA.

Berlin, 1961. Credit: National Archives.

Berlin, 1961. Credit: National Archives.

One of President Kennedy's speech card from his remarks in Berlin. Credit: National Archives.

One of President Kennedy’s speech card from his remarks in Berlin. Credit: National Archives.

President John F. Kennedy Speaks in Rudolph Wilde Platz. June 26, 1963. Credit: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

President John F. Kennedy Speaks in Rudolph Wilde Platz. June 26, 1963. Credit: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

President Nixon views the Berlin Wall from a platform. Credit: National Archives.

President Nixon views the Berlin Wall from a platform. Credit: National Archives.

Jutta Gallus stands with signs at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin in the 80s telling the world she is separated from daughters Claudia and Beate, who were forcibly kept in East Germany. Credit: U.S. Army.

Jutta Gallus stands with signs at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin in the 80s telling the world she is separated from daughters Claudia and Beate, who were forcibly kept in East Germany. Credit: U.S. Army.

President Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Credit: National Archives.

President Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Credit: National Archives.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, East Berlin, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, East Berlin, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, East Berlin, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, East Berlin, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, East Berlin, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, East Berlin, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Soviet War Memorial Garden, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Collection.

Soviet War Memorial Garden, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Collection.

Soviet War Memorial Garden, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Soviet War Memorial Garden, East Berlin, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Brandenburg Gate, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

Brandenburg Gate, 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection.

You Are Leaving the American Sector Sign. 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection..

You Are Leaving the American Sector Sign. 1987. Credit: T.W. Rucker Family Collection..

A West German man uses a hammer and chisel to chip off a piece of the Berlin Wall as a souvenir. A portion of the Wall has already been demolished at Potsdamer Platz. November 6, 2009. Credit: Staff Sgt. F. Lee Corkran, DVIDSHUB.

A West German man uses a hammer and chisel to chip off a piece of the Berlin Wall as a souvenir. A portion of the Wall has already been demolished at Potsdamer Platz. November 6, 2009. Credit: Staff Sgt. F. Lee Corkran, DVIDSHUB.

A crowd of West German citizens gathers at the newly created opening in the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz. November 6, 2009. Credit: Staff Sgt. F. Lee Corkran, DVIDSHUB.

A crowd of West German citizens gathers at the newly created opening in the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz. November 6, 2009. Credit: Staff Sgt. F. Lee Corkran, DVIDSHUB.

 


CALLIE OETTINGER was Command Posts’ first managing editor. Her interest in military history, policy and fiction took root when she was a kid, traveling and living the life of an Army Brat, and continues today.

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Posted in Contemporary History
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