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 Aug 13 2021

August 13, 1962 - The Separation of Germany Begins

Today, 60 years ago, the construction of the Berlin Wall began on order of the socialist German Democratic Republic's government.

During the Cold War era, the Wall separated Eastern and Western Germany as a part of the infamous Iron Curtain, separating Eastern and Western Europe. The well-secured border was the frontier of the conflict between the NATO in the western part, and the Warsaw Pact in the eastern part. The separation of Europe lasted nearly 30 years, it ended after profound political changes in Eastern Europe and hopeful influences from the West.

The overall length of the Berlin Wall was 155km, or 96 miles, surrounding Western Berlin
The two fragments of the Berlin wall rise into the sky in front of the location of the Joint Support and Enabling Command. (JSEC Photo by Senior Airman          Bastian Süpple, DEU AF)

The Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) commemorates this important timespan of German, European and NATO history with genuine border fragments showcased in the Wilhelmsburg Barracks. They originate from the Pankow-Weissensee-district in Berlin, where the German Democratic Republic was founded, as well as dissolved.

The two immense blocks of concrete and steel made their way to Ulm in Southern Germany following several German army units. They now mark the driveway to the recently activated International Military Headquarters JSEC, responsible for coordination and safeguarding of the movement of Allied forces and equipment.

Today, the historic fragments of the Wall are a remarkable symbol for the core purpose of the NATO Alliance: overcoming separation, sustaining peace and stability, aiming for multinational cooperation.

Please, stay tuned for the 2nd part of the story, following October 3, about the fall of the Inner German border, the reunification and the German National Holiday.

Find more information about the Berlin wall on NATO's website:


Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command

A section of the memorial stone belonging to the two wall fragments is shown, displaying only the words "Berliner Mauer" (Berlin Wall). (JSEC Photo by Senior Airman Bastian Süpple, DEU AF)

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