This weekend guided tours have been reliving the creation of the Berlin Wall and its impact on people including those who tried to escape.
A plaque remembers Ida Siekmman. She was the first victim of the Wall. It was built in front of her house and covered the first three floors. A week after it was finished she leapt to her death from the fourth floor.
Many see Bornholmer Bridge, where the first checkpoint was established, as the most potent symbol of separation.
“The fact of being imprisoned, that somebody tells you: ‘You can come to here, but not a step more,’ I hated them for that. I hated them,” said one woman while another German recalled: “In the beginning I didn’t know about people being shot, but then it started quickly and it grew and grew.”
More than 100,000 tourists wandered along a 15 kilometre route in the city centre where the wall once stood in the shadow of 7,000 illuminated balloons perched 3.6 metres high on poles matching the height of the wall.