1945-1991: Cold War world Wiki

A high wall and watchtowers divided the village of Mödlareuth in Bavaria/Thuringia. A stretch of the wall still stands as a memorial to the division of Germany.

Sparnberg on the Saale in the mid-1980s, enclosed behind a concrete wall.

The plan[]

The Soviets had no intention of letting Germany reunify as a neutral or later pro-Western state and began to close the border down. It was de facto closed off in 1952 and formally sealed off in 1961 to stop the mass exodus of East Germans to West Germany.

Between October 1945 and June 1946, 1.6 million Germans left the Soviet zone for the West; and another 675,000 people fled East Germany to West Germany between 1949 and 1952.

The instillation it's self[]

It was a border wall up to 4 meters (13 ft) in height made of expanded steel, concrete and razor wire that lasted from 1961 to it's near complete destruction in 1990.

1945–52: the "Green Border"[]

This was just a usual barbed wire and checkpoint border, but with paranoid Soviet troops manning it.

1952–67: the "Special Regime"[]


Berlin Wall build (1961)

Berlin Wall build (1961).

It was formally closed and a major barbed wire fence went up, followed by the mine fields, extra watch towers and extra fences.

The GDR implemented a "special regime on the demarcation line", justified as a measure to keep out "spies, diversionists, terrorists and smugglers", but it was also to stop the GDR's population hemorrhaging out!

1967–89: the "Modern Frontier"[]

In this era it was mostly a concrete wall backed up with expanded steel fences in more remote places; along with loads of troopers, communist party political commissars, secret policemen, spies, snipers, barracks, pill boxes, bunkers, mine fields and watchtowers along side the whole length of it.

2000-?: Grenze 2000 (English: Border 2000)[]

A both less costly and noticeably less intrusive, more modern and more efficient  hi-tech hell that was first planned out in 1988.

Staff on duty there[]


Border Protection - The Border Between East and West Europe - 1970's US Forces-1

Border Protection - The Border Between East and West Europe - 1970's US Forces.


  1. East Germany -National People's Army.
    1. Up to ~50,000 were noted to be on duty at various times during the Cold War.
  2. East Germany- Stasi.
  3. East Germany- Volkspolizei.
  4. Soviet Union- Army Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.

West []

  1. Germany- Bundesgrenzschutz.
  2. Germany- Bundeszollverwaltung.
  3. Bavaria- Bayerische Grenzpolizei.
  4. United Kingdom- British Army.
  5. United Kingdom-- British Frontier Service.
  6. United States- US Army.

Crossing it[]


"Walled In!" Germany's inner border.

"Walled In!" Germany's Cold War era 'inner border'.

Temporary access across it was allowed, but East Germany almost always spied on visiting Westerners and tried to liquidate those who successfully fled from the East to the West.

Some of the crossing points were at-

  • East Berlin/West Berlin
  • Herrnburg/Lübeck
  • Schwanheide/Büchen
  • Ruhen/Buchhorst
  • Selmsdorf/Schlutup
  • Zarrentin/Gudow
  • Helmstedt/Marienborn

Also see[]

  1. Berlin Wall
  2. Checkpoint Charlie
  3. Eastern Bloc
  4. Germany's Fulda Gap
  5. North German Plain
  6. Berlin airlift
  7. Glasnost
  8. "Poland is 'toast'!"
  9. Life under communism
  10. Exercise Reforger
  11. Seven days to the River Rhine (1979)
  12. Iron Curtain
  13. Seven days to the River Rhine (1979)
  14. Germany's Helmstedt–Marienborn Crossing point


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_German_border
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_inner_German_border
  3. http://www.thelocal.de/20101001/30197
  4. http://www.ironcurtaintrail.eu/en/die_etappen/deutscher_teil/index.html
  5. http://www.dw.de/walled-in-the-inner-german-border/a-4440098
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortifications_of_the_inner_German_border
  7. http://www.ostseegrenzturm.net/derturm.htm
  8. https://web.archive.org/web/20110723233439/http://www.ostseegrenzturm.net/derturm.htm