Berlin 223 006-4 to be displayed to commemorate 60th anniversary of the Berlin Wall

On 13th August 1961 residents of Berlin awoke to find that their city had been split into two. Roads had been torn up, railway lines blocked and barbed wire fencing erected along the 97 mile border between the western sector and the German Democratic Republic and the 27 miles that divided East and West Berlin. Just four days later and the barbed wire had been replaced by a concrete wall. The infamous Berlin Wall was born and would remain in situ for almost 30 years.

To commemorate this somber occasion, Crich Tramway Village’s sole Berlin tram – Access Tram 223 006-4 – will be displayed at the museum on Friday 13th August between 1000 and 1730 with volunteers on hand to tell the story of the tram and what Berlin was like in the years of Wall.

When the wall initially went up, those on each side of the wall couldn’t visit or even telephone each other. This changed in the mid-1960s when those from the West could visit relatives in the East at Christmas and then in 1971 it was agreed between the four superpowers that restrictions could be relaxed. But it still remained strict with specific reasons needed to go from East to West – such as work, important family events or if they were pensioners or of no further use to the state. Around 5,000 people managed to escape to West Berlin with at least 140 dying in the attempt.

13th August at Crich will be a chance to hear about how trams fit into the history of a city which went through an interesting period from 1961 to 1989.

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