After we visited the East Side Gallery, our guide led us to the Bernauer Street which is in the northern part of the city. Nowadays it is known for its memorial, build to remember the Berlin Wall.
In the Bernauer Street the Wall was a special case, because it was literally build throw the houses on the soviet occupation zone. Meaning, that all the windows facing the western part of Berlin, were bricked by the East German authorities. During the construction of the wall many GDR citizens jumped out of those windows because they wanted to escape from being „locked away“. Our guide told us that the first wall fatality victim was in the Bernauer Street on 22th august 1961, nine days after they started building the wall, . Ida Siekamann, 58 years old, jumped out of her window on the third floor without waiting for the firemen to catch her. She died on her way to the hospital.
The memorial is split into three parts. Firstly there is a wall out of metal bars to represent a part of the fallen wall. Secondly you can find an old watchtower, which you can now visit as a museum. Last but not least there is a remembrance church, where you can join church services everyday to remember the victims of the Berlin Wall.
In 1985 , an old church, called „Versöhnungskirche“ (Reconciliation Church), was bombed away from the government because they thought that it might be a possibility to escape. Thus the western community decided, after the wall felt, to rebuild a new church at the same place.
Near by the church the cemetery of the parish is placed. This was also the case when Berlin was divided into two parts. The problem was that 50 meters of the cemetery where part of the border and later on of the death strip. As a consequence many graves couldn’t exist anymore and were thus lost. Western citizens, which had relatives on the cemetery were firstly allowed to visit them with a special approval but at a certain point the government decided to cut this connection between west and east off.
For us it was a strange feeling to stand in the death strip because there happened so many horrible things, for example the fatality victims. On the other hand we really liked the fact that there is this memorial, which reminds you of the time when Berlin was divided with all its issues. What really kept us in mind was a statue called „Versöhnungsstatue“ (Reconciliation statue), which shows two people hugging each other. We think it represents the reconnection between east and west Germany in a beautiful way.