Area B tells the stories of people who made Bernauer Strasse famous: the residents who escaped from border houses by sliding down ropes from their apartments or by jumping into the rescue nets of the West Berlin fire department. The basement level of a border house was excavated for this subject station to document the events that link the buildings and their residents: life at the border before the Wall was built, the escapes, the forced evacuations in 1961, and the demolition of the buildings in the mid-sixties.

The outlines of the border houses are marked on the ground and identified with street numbers so that visitors can relate the individual stories to the missing buildings. The location of underground escape tunnels is also marked on the grounds.

One subject station focuses on the blocking off of Ackerstrasse. This is one of the first places where the Wall was erected in August 1961 and it is also where the systematic dismantling of the Wall began in June 1990. The second station addresses the history of the Reconciliation Church, which as of 1961 stood deserted within the border strip and in 1985 was blown up. The outline of the demolished church is also indicated. Parts of the church’s foundations have been preserved and are visible in an archaeological window.

The last subject station, next to the three-dimensional representation of a watch tower, discusses the different escape routes taken across and beneath the border fortifications by people attempting to flee to West Berlin.

Area B

The Memorial Grounds, Area B

The Memorial Grounds, Area B
Click to enlarge