Border, Contemporary Witnesses, East

A business stranded in the border zone

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On the morning of 13 August 1961, 14-year-old Rainer Maier planned to go into his father's company where he was doing an apprenticeship. His father had set up the concrete plant in Glienicke in 1946. However, Rainer's path was blocked by combat groups at Oranienburger Chaussee. After much discussion, they were finally allowed to enter the plant near the "duck's bill", a narrow strip of East Berlin territory jutting into West Berlin. From then on, Rainer, his father and all of the employees needed permits to enter the company premises. Later on the building was torn down as it was too near the border zone and Rainer's father was allocated new land. He invested his own money and rebuilt the business.

In 2011, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Wall going up, the rbb interviewed Berliners to find out what the division of the city meant to them. The Wall had a profound impact on the way each person went about their daily lives - no matter what side they found themselves on. Overnight people were cut off from their friends and relatives, from their offices, factories and schools, and from places where they enjoyed spending their leisure time. The division of the city tore families apart, ruptured biographies and claimed many lives.


  • Berlin-Glienicke, Am Sandkrug, sog. Entenschnabel