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Workers restoring watchtower to stretch of Berlin Wall

The Local · 27 Oct 2009, 10:15

Published: 27 Oct 2009 10:15 GMT+01:00

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No one knows what happened to the original watchtower at the once heavily guarded stretch of the Wall, but last year memorial workers discovered a similar tower at barracks in Spreenhagen, just outside the capital city.

“The tower will be built again according to Berlin memorial standards,” head of the Berliner Mauer foundation Manfred Fischer told the paper, adding that the foundations are being prepared and completion is expected in a few weeks.

The tower is one of six remaining towers out of the 300 once manned by feared East German border guards along Berlin Wall to be used in remembrance, the paper said. Other towers still exist at former border checks.

The Wall ran along Bernauer Straße and was the site of dramatic escape attempts by East Germans – particularly through escape tunnels and jumping from windows. The street is now home to one of the longest surviving stretches of the Wall.

Other surviving towers have been re-purposed, the paper said. A former watchtower between Frohnau and Hohen Neuendorf is now a nature study centre for children. Another tower in Berlin’s Treptow district has been fully restored to its original state and is now used for art installations and performances.

Story continues below…

A third tower has been converted into a memorial for Günter Litfin, one of the first victims of gunshots from Berlin Wall guards in 1961 as he tried to escape.

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Your comments about this article

19:45 October 27, 2009 by nooraza
I think it's a brilliant idea! Such historical although brutal part of that Stalinist era and the Berlin Wall, must be preserved, so that the younger generation will never forget the sufferings of their fellow East Germans.
20:58 October 27, 2009 by wood artist
I agree it's a great idea, however my thinking is a little different as to why.

Although the wall is clearly a symbol of the political differences that divided the world during the Cold War and divided Germany in a physical way, it is, more than that, pure history. This year people from all over have been able to visit Germany and see the site where Armenius is credited with stopping the advance of the Romans. Precious little is there that can be considered "real" although I applaud the efforts made at interpreting the site and the meaning of the battle. Here, in Berlin, we have a chance to preserve the "real history," allowing future generations to not only draw conclusions about "what it meant" but also to see first-hand what it was really like.

Seeing the physical presence explains much more vividly, and being able to "touch" the real thing conveys more than any pictures, movies, or written accounts can.

Thank you to everyone who helped seize this opportunity.
19:56 October 30, 2009 by Furor Teutonicus
Na so.

The point here is, that a couple of the watch towers were always MEANT to be preserved. The one at "Charly" for example. Then all of a sudden, over night, they were gone.

NOW, at OUR expense, they, in a latent fit of nostalgia, wish to rebuild them.

FORGET it. The money would be better spent restoring the "dome" of the Reichstag to its origional, rather than the green house they have temperoraly put there to keep the rain out.
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