The Berlin Wall is also called East Side Gallery, due to the fact that many artists chose the east side of the wall to draw incredible graffiti. But let’s look at the wall’s history for a moment!

The Wall was built in 1961 by the GDR (German Democratic Republic), in order to separate the east part of Berlin (and of Germany in general) from what they called the fascist part, the West. Actually, the real reason they decided to build a physical boundary, was that the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that had marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period. Many people died trying to pass the Wall and go to other side: the guards were relentless.

In November 1989, the destruction of the wall began: it was finished on 1992. Now just a few parts of it are visible around the city, left for a memorial, but the longest one is certainly the East Side Gallery.

Many of the Wall’s graffiti are really famous, but all of them are worth a visit (and it’s free to see them!). We leave a slideshow of our favourite works for you to see down below. Almost all of them have a common theme: they speak about freedom, tolerance, love and acceptance. In a world like ours, it is always very important to underline these fundamental values. It is necessary to think about the Wall’s history and the many people that died trying to reach their family, friends, or just to have a better life, to fully understand all the works of art on it.

– M.C.

Bibliography and further reading:

WEBER Jörg, Spaziergang an der East Side Gallery: Walk on the East Side Gallery, Berlinstory Verlag Gmbh, 2014 [German and English]


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