Border, Contemporary Witnesses, East

Enlisted to build the Wall

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Dieter Weber has a job as a dump truck driver. The weekend of 12/13 August 1961 his company receives orders to transport concrete posts and barbed wire to the border - driving right across the city from Johannisthal to Chausseestrasse in central Berlin. These materials are used to build the Wall. It is a hard job, involving shifts of 14 to 16 hours over two weeks. When Dieter arrives at Chausseestrasse each morning, the Wall has grown a little higher.

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, Chausseestraße