In the afternoon of August 12 at 4 p.m. Walter Ulbricht, the East German leader, signed the commands to close the border. Next Sunday at midnight the army, police and the "Kampfgruppen" began to bolt the city. The wall is built and separates the city into two parts for more than 28 years. East Germans will not be allowed to free travel to the West until November 9,1989.
"The Wall will remain as long as the conditions that had led to its construction are not changed. It will still exist in 50 and even in 100 years." -- Erich Honecker, East German communist party chief, January 19, 1989.
"East Germans are free to travel where they like. With immediate effect." -- Guenter Schabowski, East German politburo spokesman at a press conference, November 9, 1989.
171 people were killed or died attempting to escape at the Berlin Wall between August 13, 1961 and November 9, 1989.