• Germany edition
 
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

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver
Signs warning drivers against entering a motorway off-road. Photo: DPA

Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver

Erich Mairleitner thought Tuesday would be another ordinary day hauling a load along the A3 motorway, but found himself the hero of the hour after stepping in to stop an accident. READ  

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds
Usula van der Leyen and Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds

Germany is ready to send weapons to support Iraqi Kurds in their battle against the "barbaric" jihadist militants of the Islamic State, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
10 things to do before summer is really over
Photo: DPA

10 things to do before summer is really over

The German weather service (DWD) is blaming "Wild Wilma" for blanketing the country in cooler temperatures, but we know it's going to get a lot colder before the end of summer. This week's Local List challenges you to take advantage before autumn really sets in. READ  

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors
Lightning illuminates the sky above a wind turbine. Photo: DPA

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors

The Federal Court of Auditors (BRH) has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policy, saying that the previous coalition government failed to produce adequate financial plans. READ  

China orders German's execution for murders
A paramilitary guard stands inside Beijing's No.1 Detention Centre. Photo: DPA

China orders German's execution for murders

Update: A German man has been condemned to death in China for murdering his ex-girlfriend and her partner in a frenzied attack, it was reported on Wednesday. READ  

German aid planes to Iraq delayed
All filled up and nowhere to go. Photo: DPA

German aid planes to Iraq delayed

A German military flight to the conflict-addled region in northern Iraq has been delayed because Turkey denied landing permission for the layover at Incirlik airbase, according to a spokesman for the air force. READ  

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
Photo: DPA

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway

A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. READ  

Saxony schools get top marks
Photo: DPA

Saxony schools get top marks

A country-wide analysis has shown that Saxony has the best schools and Berlin has a lot of homework to do. READ  

Police free hedgehog, natural order restored
Pot luck for the Offenburg hedgehog. Photo: DPA

Police free hedgehog, natural order restored

Officers patrolling in Baden-Württemberg were confronted by a self-imprisoned hedgehog. READ  

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch
Overdue, overgrown. BER site stands idle amid delays. Photo: DPA

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch

The delay-hobbled Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) will already be overburdened when - or if - it opens in 2016 as passenger volume exceeds initial forecasts, it was reported on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
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

3,315
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd