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East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. In 1990, 118 artists from 21 countries created a unique open-air gallery by painting the east side of the wall along Mühlenstraße. Its works of art are an expression of joy after the fall of the Wall. Today, about four million people from all over the world come to the East Side Gallery every year.

As part of a seminar, students of the Master’s program in Public History at Freie Universität Berlin intensively studied the history of the Berlin Wall. In the following articles, they report on selected works of art and historical traces from the East Side Gallery.
The picture shows the painting of the kissing politicians on the wall. The title of the artwork is in Russian and in German.

An Iconic Moment: The Socialist Fraternal Kiss

At the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the GDR, heads of states Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker ritually performed the socialist fraternal kiss. The snapshot became the East Side Gallery's most photographed artwork.  more
Photo of the artwork. Under the title and the dates of 1961 to 1989 states: Escape is a mighty method to destabilise dominion. 1961: GDR-refugees trigger the building of the Berlin Wall. Each rose for one dead of 136.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 1990, visitors from all over the world have marvelled at the East Side Gallery. Many pictures bear witness to the joy of the end of the German division. But the violence of the border regime is also thematized in the gallery. The work "Curriculum Vitae" by Susanne Kunjappu-Jellinek stands for this.  more
The graffiti covered breeze block wall. Over the back end of the wall, a newly constructed building overhangs.

The oldest section of the Berlin Wall

The construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 was initially provisional. An old piece of breeze block wall at the East Side Gallery bears witness to these beginnings.  more
The lower parts of the weathered painting on conrete shows the outline of two overlapping hands with outstreched fingers reaching upwards. In the upper portion of the painting, one sees geometric patterns.

"Hands" by Margaret Hunter and Peter Russell

Among the world-renowned paintings of the East Side Gallery, one mural sticks out in particular because it is the only one with its original surface: "Hands" by Margaret Hunter and Peter Russell.  more
Large section of the Berlin Wall covered in graffiti. In the middle of the wall is a red iron gate allowing a view through the wall and onto two caravans in the background.

After the Fall is Before the Occupation

Until the fall of the Wall, the Spreeuferpark at the East Side Gallery was part of the so-called death strip, which formed part of the border fortifications of the Berlin Wall. This border strip became a large wasteland in the middle of the city after November 9, 1989. In 1991, Berlin's largest caravan park was built there, and its residents have immortalized themselves in their own unique way on the Wall.  more
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