By: Amber Wiggins
August 13, 1961
East Germans permanently closed the border between East and West Berlin
They used barbed wire fencing and armed guards.
Overnight, families were separated, and thousands of East Berliners lost their jobs in the west.
Within weeks, the wire fence was fortified with concrete and a second fence was built in June, 1962.
People attempting to escape East Berlin were shot on sight, and the area between the two became know as "The Death Strip."
Construction began on an even more secure wall, called the "Border Wall 75", in 1975. It took 5 years to complete.
The new Berlin Wall included:
* 79 miles of fencing
* Nearly 300 watchtowers
* More than 250 guard dog runs
* 20 bunkers and
* 65 miles of anti-vehicle trenches
Still more than 5,000 people escaped to freedom