Most tourists in Berlin, Germany, hate to return home without some sort of a souvenir signifying the adventure and memories that they have experienced while on their trip. When visiting the Berlin Wall, some may wonder if they might be allowed to buy or even take a piece of the wall as a token of their trip to Germany. This is a valid question that deserves an honest answer.
Can you take a piece of the Berlin Wall? You can neither take a piece nor buy a piece of the Berlin Wall. Taking a piece of the Berlin Wall would be considered vandalism and theft because the remnants of the Berlin Wall are considered to be a sacred monument, honoring its history when it divided the Eastern and Western parts of Berlin, Germany, for over 25 years.
Read on to find out the legalities around taking pieces of the Berlin Wall and the historical significance that makes the wall such a monument.
Can You Take a Piece of the Berlin Wall?
No one is allowed to take pieces of the Berlin Wall because of its priceless historical value. If tourists and natives were allowed to take pieces of the Berlin Wall, there would soon be nothing left for historical remembrance at the actual location of the wall itself.
When the wall was first torn down, German citizens were allowed to take pieces of it, because at the time there was a higher amount of debris and remnants left over from the destruction of the wall itself.
Over time, the leftover locations of the wall became a national monument for both tourists and natives to enjoy and visit. This is very important because people all over the world now can visit the remainder of the wall, learn about the struggles and triumphs that took place, and share pictures and memories from this experience.
Can You Buy a Piece of the Berlin Wall?
When the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989, collectors were allowed to purchase large pieces of the wall for fifty dollars per piece. Soon after, it was decided that no one could purchase pieces of the Berlin Wall because the city of Berlin wanted to keep part of the wall standing as a monument to the historical events that transpired during the Cold War.
Can you buy a piece of the Berlin Wall? The purchase of pieces of the Berlin Wall (historical monuments) is generally not allowed because of the sacred and priceless value of the historical meaning behind the landmarks. If monuments were all destroyed and the pieces all sold to collectors, society would forget the strong historical significance the monument once represented.
When monuments can be kept safe, untouched, and clean, they have a better chance of surviving for a more extended time. Because of this, higher numbers of people and more generations will be able to view, learn from, and appreciate the historical value these monuments hold in our world’s history.
Why Was the Berlin Wall Built?
Someone who may visit the Berlin Wall on their trip to Germany may wonder why the wall was built and why it was torn down. The Berlin Wall was initially built on August 13, 1961. It was built to stop Eastern Germans from fleeing to Western Germany during the Cold War. This historical landmark was very controversial throughout the entire world and was eventually torn down in 1989.
The Berlin Wall was built as a symbol of communism and a lack of freedom.
- The Eastern side of Germany was known for its governmental control and communist power.
- Western Germany was more democratic driven and led by capitalists.
This naturally caused controversy between the two sides. Eastern Germans were attempting to flee their side of the country and run away to the Western side of Germany.
Before the wall was built, almost four million Eastern Germans fled to the Western side of Germany. This was what led to the construction of the Berlin Wall. After the wall was built, over 80 people were recorded as killed trying to cross the wall and run away to West Germany.
The wall was a message to Eastern Germans that they could no longer come and go as they pleased, but instead, they had to remain on their side of the city per the law of their leader, Erich Honecker.
Why Was the Wall Taken Down?
On June 12, 1989, after the wall had been standing for over 25 years, United States President Ronald Reagan gave a famous speech during which he challenged the Soviet politician, Mikhail Gorbachev, to tear the wall down once and for all. This speech was so famous that it is in most history books throughout the United States. On November 9, 2989, the Berlin Wall finally fell.
Tearing down the Berlin Wall was also symbolic in a massive way because it was a symbol of freedom, democracy, and a citizen’s ability to come and go throughout their entire country as they please. It was a life-changing part of history from Germany because of how harmful the wall proved to be for those who needed to cross to the other side of their country but couldn’t.
On November 8, 1989, protesters gathered on either side of the wall, shouting and demanding that they be given more freedom and that the wall be taken down. This protest was very persuasive, and eventually, Eastern Germany leaders loosened the restrictions that they had originally set in place, and they made it easier for travel and free will.
Protestors seemed to be happy with the wall falling, and that day was marked in history as a day where German citizens stood up for what they believed in, and they received the outcome they desired. Historically, these protestors helped to make the change that the city of Berlin so desperately needed.
What Was the Berlin Wall Made out Of?
The Berlin Wall was made out of concrete, stretching 66 miles throughout the country of Germany. The wall was over three meters high, and it also had barbed wire on top of the wall throughout the entire length. Over 300 men guarded the wall with weapons, to make sure that no one tried to cross the wall. If someone tried to cross the wall, they would promptly be shot down.
The Berlin Wall stretched throughout West Berlin and served the purpose of keeping the city of Berlin separated so that no one from one side could enter the other side. Violence and force have been proven throughout history to serve its purpose very effectively, and this is exactly what was done throughout the lifetime of the Berlin Wall.
Part of the Berlin Wall still stands today as a reminder of the pain and lack of freedom that people experienced and lived through during the time the wall stood strong. It is vital to keep physical reminders of critical historical moments throughout history so that generations to come will never forget the struggle that people went through in the past.
No one is allowed to take or buy any pieces of the remaining Berlin Wall. The reasoning behind this fact is that the remnants of the wall have become invaluable because of its historical significance.
The Berlin Wall represented governmental control and separated Eastern and Western Germany from one another. Today, it stands in several places throughout Berlin to remind onlookers of what their ancestors had to live through and what they had to do to fight for their freedom.