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Ceremonies mark 55th anniversary of Berlin Wall construction

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 13, 2016

BERLIN — The mayor of Germany's capital has placed a wreath at the main Berlin Wall memorial, marking the 55th anniversary of the start of construction of the Cold War structure that divided the city for nearly three decades.

Ahead of the ceremony at the Bernauer Strasse memorial, Mayor Michael Mueller also took part Saturday in a service at a chapel on the former "death strip" that divided the city.

The country was divided into capitalist West Germany and communist East Germany after World War II.

At the height of Cold War tensions, the East German regime started building the wall through Berlin on Aug. 13, 1961 and soon fortified its entire border. The wall stood until Nov. 9, 1989, and at least 138 people were killed along it during its 28 years.
 

West Berlin, September, 1961: An East German Vopo goes about his business manning a vehicle barrier near the Berlin Wall as a young local boy, seemingly unfazed by the extra tension that existed in the area since the construction of the Wall the previous month, rides a scooter.
GUS SCHUETTLER/STARS AND STRIPES

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