The Monument

  • © Jürgen Hohmuth/Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer
  • The border strip on the grounds of the Sophien parish cemetery, 1970
    © BStU
The Monument |1:19 min

You are standing in front of the national monument dedicated to the “victims of Communist tyranny and to the memory of German division”. It was officially opened on August 13, 1998. The monument integrates the preserved remains of the original border fortifications on Bernauer Strasse into the design and accentuates them through artistic means. You can see that two steel walls enclose a section of the border grounds. Seventy meters of the original grounds have been preserved. If you move up closer to the inner wall, you can look through small slits and get a glimpse into the former death strip. The slits in the wall didn’t exist during the time of the Wall. They were added later when the monument was built.

The monument was created by the architects Kohlhoff & Kohlhoff. Their design was one of 259 entries submitted to a competition conducted by the German federal government in 1994. The national monument was to become an established part of the historical site at Bernauer Straße.

You can get a good impression of the entire border strip from the viewing platform on the top of the Documentation Center: Located right across from the monument, it gives a good view from above.