Germany is marking 50 years since the start of the Berlin Wall’s construction.
A minute’s silence was held at noon in memory of those who tried to escape.
When the former communist East closed its border, the city remained divided for 28 years. From the Baltic to Bavaria, the frontier between East and West Germany had been sealed for a decade. But Berlin was still open due to its special status under the occupying powers, the United States, France, Britain and the Soviet Union.
Jorg Klein, was just three years old when he escaped with his parents in 1964 from East Berlin.
“The young generation today doesn’t understand it any more, that something like that was possible. Even at the time, our visitors from western Germany, they could never believe it,” he said.
It remains unclear how many people died trying to cross the Wall. At least 136 are known to have been killed but some victims’ groups claim more than 700 lost their lives.