• Germany's news in English
 
Part of Berlin Wall demolished at dawn
Photo: DPA

Part of Berlin Wall demolished at dawn

Published: 27 Mar 2013 10:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Mar 2013 12:20 GMT+01:00

By 8am initial work had already finished, with six metres, or four pieces of the Wall, removed and lying on the frozen ground next to the Spree River, a police spokeswoman told The Local.

Over 250 police officers turned up as the diggers rolled in at 5am. “They were there to make sure that the builders could work in peace,” said the spokeswoman.

She added that despite huge protest since the plans to remove the Wall, no protestors turned up and everything went smoothly, making way for a luxury apartment building.

Click for pictures of wall being taken down

A police spokesman told Berlin paper Der Tagesspiegel that they had known since last week that the temporarily halted construction work would resume on Wednesday. A meeting between the property company and the city authorities on Tuesday about possible alternative sites proved fruitless.

"The investor's actions are an affront to all those wanting a reasonable compromise," said city government spokesman Richard Meng.

He added making the demolition work a "fait accompli" was "no signal for willingness to compromise."

The property developer Maik Uwe Hinkel announced at the end of February that he intended to remove a 20 metre segment in order to provide access for a footbridge and luxury flats on the river bank.

He told Bild newspaper on Wednesday that the blocks would be replaced once building was complete. The hole in the wall was, he said, "temporary".

Over 6,000 people turned out to protest in early March. US entertainer David Hasselhof even showed up on March 17th to offer his support, drawing another 10,000 to save the East Side Gallery.

The developer then agreed to stop demolition work while talks with the Berlin city government and local district authority took place.

Since 1990, the outdoor gallery has been covered in brightly coloured murals, including the famous "Fraternal Kiss" depicting Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and his East German counterpart Erich Honecker.

The 3.6-metre high (11 feet) stretch is a tourist magnet and a must-see for history buffs retracing the dark chapter of Berlin's 28-year-long division who are otherwise hard pressed to find remnants of the Wall to photograph.

Thrown up in 1961, the Wall stretched 155 kilometres (96 miles) and divided Berlin until 1989, but today only around three kilometres of it still stand.

The Local/DAPD/AFP/jcw

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:02 March 27, 2013 by nifa
Have protesters gathered there since then?
15:25 March 27, 2013 by catjones
Look up the definition of 'demolish'.
16:54 March 27, 2013 by Lavendelblauen
I can't believe this is happening...consumerism trumping history...unreal : ((
10:03 March 28, 2013 by Steve1949
Well, looks like Hasselhoff isn't only a failure at his music but wasn't very influential at saving the wall either. If only Pink Floyd would have been there instead.
15:46 April 3, 2013 by wegosolo
Of course there were no Protesters...it was 5am. Berlin Slacktivist get up around 11am.
Today's headlines
Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany
Joachim Löw holding the World Cup trophy. File photo: DPA

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany

World Cup winners Germany have suffered something of a hangover since their triumph in Brazil, but coach Joachim Löw is hoping a new-look side can go on to claim more glory at Euro 2016. READ  

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges
Photo: DPA

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges

German mobile phone company T-Mobile has agreed to pay at least $90 million to settle US government claims that it bilked customers with bogus charges, US regulators said Friday. READ  

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,228
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd