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Berlin Wall: Home


When searching for information on this topic, potentially useful keywords to use include :

  • Berliner Mauer
  • Berlin Crisis of 1961
  • Berlin Contingency or BERCON Plans
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Iron Curtain
  • Maritime Contingency (MARCON) Plans
  • Stacheldrahtsonntag’ (or "Barbed wire Sunday" - 13 August 1961)
  • 'Antifaschistischer Schutzwall' (or "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart")
  • "Todesstreifen" (or "Death Strip” as referred to the border strip, by the West people)

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This LibGuide includes links to content found on the web (e.g. websites, news & blogs, reports, etc.) as well as a select number of articles and books available from the NATO Multimedia Library.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive collection of material on this topic. The selection criteria for the websites and documents included was based on each item's currency and relevancy to this topic. 

Furthermore, quick search boxes for online databases subscribed by the Library (available to staff working at NATO HQ) as well as links to the library catalog are available for you to locate additional resources.


August 13, 1961: "The Berlin border between East and West Berlin is closed. The zonal boundary is sealed in the morning by East German troops. “Shock workers” from East Germany and Russia seal off the border with barrier of barbed wire and light fencing that eventually became a complex series of wall, fortified fences, gun positions and watchtowers heavily guarded and patrolled. In the end, the Berlin Wall was 96 miles (155 km) long and the average height of the concrete wall was 11.8 ft (3.60 m). Over the course of the Wall’s existence, 133 people were confirmed killed trying to cross into West Berlin according to official sources, while a victims’ group puts the number at over 200 dead. There were also some 5,000 successful escapes into West Berlin. The August 13 operation lasted 24 hours." (Source: The Cold War Museum - Berlin Wall Timeline)

November 9, 1989: "The fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the end of the Cold War and was followed by the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the breakup of the Soviet Union. The reunification of Germany in October 1990 brought the territory of the former East Germany into the Alliance. The new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe were eager to guarantee their freedom by becoming integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions". (Source: Evolution of NATO's "Open Door Policy", 3 December 2015)

This LibGuide is part of the NATO Declassified project, launched in December 2016. This NATO web-based platform is planned to expand. Over time, it will offer more historical content and features.

Good places to start your research on the Berlin Wall include :

The NATO web pages:

A selection of key analyses and papers:

Map shown on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Berlin crisis marked by exhibition and release of declassified documents at NATO HQ (23-29 June 2011).

During the Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government held on 25 May 2017, two segments of the Berlin Wall (a gift from Germany to NATO) were unveiled in the new NATO Headquarters. (NATO, the Wall and the THW, 25 May 2017; and Tear down this Wall – and bring a piece to Brussels, 26 May 2017). Read the NATO Secretary General's remarks  at the dedication of the Berlin Wall Memorial here.