A Short History of the Berlin Wall

For 40 years, the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe appeared indestructible. The Iron Curtain began to fall apart in 1989 and in only one year, countries have left communism one after another, like domino pieces. The symbol of the Cold War, Berlin Wall has been called the “physical representation” of the Iron Curtain. For 28 years, the enormous construction divided in two a city – Berlin and a country – Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall is the most important mark of the communist bloc failure.

The construction of the wall began on August 13, 1961 to stop the westward emigration of the German people. In the east it was named “the anti-fascist protection wall” while in the west people called it “Wall of Shame”. 155 km of disgrace of over 3 m high, of which 43 km through the heart of Berlin.

The frontier was also made of km of trenches, bunkers, hundreds of watch towers and barbed wire. Although the creation of the wall began in 1961, Germany was ruptured since the end of World War II. In 1945, Reich capital was divided between the Allied powers in the west and the Soviet Union in the east, and in 1949 two countries were born: Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. In 1952, East Germany closed its border with West Germany, worried about the departure of population. There were exposed points though, where people were still able to pass. More than 2.5 million Germans made it to west between 1949 and 1961.

Although on June 15, 1961 East German leader Walter Ulbricht declared that there will not be a wall built, on August 13, the eastern part of Berlin is surrounded by barricades and barbed wire. The wall is built in certain stages. In 1962 a barricade was added, 90 feet on the inside, being created a strictly controlled “restrained zone”. Houses on this strip were bulldozed and people moved. The zone, mined and full of trapping wire, offered an extensive field of fire for the guards. In 1965 concrete walls began to be raised and, over the years, observation towers were added, while patrols and security were increased.

The “four generations wall”, completed in 1975 was the last version. It was assembled from slabs of 3.6 meters high and 1.2 meters wide. The wall was strengthened with motion sensors, fencing net and barbed wire, trenches against vehicles, and on the crest wall it was mounted a clean pipe, which would have made even problematic to escalate.

The eight passing points were planned particularly for different types of people that could pass through. The most well-known was Checkpoint Charlie, which was meant only to Allied personnel and non-German citizens. During the history of the Wall, military personnel, officials and Allied diplomats could enter East Berlin without passport control. Also, Soviet patrols could enter freely in the West Berlin.

On November 9, 1989 the East German government choose to permit visits to West Germany, but the minister for propaganda was not properly informed therefore a lot of confusion was developed. Tens of thousands of Berliners assailed the crossing points, claiming to move freely in the West. Overwhelmed by tens of thousands of people and in the absence of clear instructions, border guards were not likely to open fire, permitting the crowds to pass over.

The wall has been kept some time after November 9. On June 13, 1990 East German army launched formal demolition, and on July 1 all border crossing points were conventionally abolished. The two Germany halves were finally rejoined on October 3, 1990. Today, there are only three remaining portions of the wall: a section of 80 meters near Postdamer Plaz, a longer section near the river Spree and the third piece, turned into a monument, north of Bernauer Strasse.

Berlin For Kids

Berlin is a great European capital ideal for a family holiday. The German capital offers a great offer to fulfill the needs and the desires of the children: special kids-programs in theatres, cinemas and museums, unforgettable walks on foot or by boat… Is there any other better way to keep them entertained?

If you want to share a cultural and funny experience with your children you will have to take them to any of the 170 museums specifically designed for them: for example, the German Museum for Technology, which has a beautiful real airplane and 14 different exhibition halls, including engines, locomotives, ships, airplanes and so on; another option is to bring them to the Nature Museum, which includes huge dinosaurs, always a hit for with the youngsters.

After so much learning, why not venture into the world of the living? The AquaDom is the largest aquarium in the world. There your children may try the incredible underwater World. Then it would be great a visit to the Berlin Zoo: it is the largest in Germany and the one which has the largest number of species

For the rainy days there are a wide range of funny options: children surely love the Imax 3-D Potsdamer Plazt Cinema. Then you can go to the indoor theme park Legoland. It is a park built with 1.5 million Lego bricks. It includes the chance for kids to test their creations on a car racing track or earthquake table, as well as a miniature city of Berlin built entirely from Lego. Both the 3-D Cinema, and the Legoland Park are located at the Potsdamer Plazt.

Maybe the kids are tired from walking all the day long. Then, everyone on board! A boat trip is the best option to discover Berlin without moving from your comfortable seat. Finally, you should not miss the famous Tiergarden Park – the biggest park in the city. There your children can run and play freely, while you rest or explore its more than 600 acres or have a coffee in the middle of the park.

Investing in the City of Berlin

An Economic Outlook
At present time, the economic outlook of Germany is definitely and certainly bullish and things are looking up for this highly urbanized state. From 2008 up to the present, the economy is metamorphosing from being predominantly export driven into a growing domestic demand scenario. As never before seen in the past several years, salary grade increases for the labour sector have been adjudicated and approved and consumerism has been very receptive to the economy. This development has resulted in the lowering of the unemployment rate, as more and more companies are getting back into hiring additional employees and staff. This economic revival has energized the property market sector of the country.

The Local Economic Situation
The year 2006 has seen the creation of 7,000 new employment opportunities and the growth of the economy of Berlin by at least 1.9 percent. Although this economic growth rate is below the average growth rate in German history, the increase in new jobs and the proportionate and consequent decrease in unemployment is certainly above average. It is evident that since this period, business firms and corporations have embarked on expansion ventures, setting up new establishments and branch offices in Berlin, with emphasis on media and innovative and modern technology and resources. After the fall of the Berlin wall, and the exodus of inhabitants of Berlin to the newly developed suburbs and districts, the population of Berlin today is at a constant 3.4 million people, making many berlin apartments for sale available.

The National Property Market
In the last three years, Germany has seen a tremendous pouring of capital from abroad to its property market sector, and the three successive years have each outshone the other in terms of economic performance. Although in 2008, there was more of an economic fortification and regrouping that occurred. The plentiful number of big investors has opened up a mass of trade and business opportunities for the smaller and private investors that could partake of the large economic pie.

The Property Market of Berlin
Before the property market boom started in 2006, Berlin was in economic stagnation for almost two decades. In 2006 through 2007, big international investors have capitalized in acquiring large inventories of undervalued properties. 2006 saw a record turnover rate increase of 50 percent at an unprecedented value of 15.8 billion Euros. This has led to property rate increases with the 8 percent to 10 percent yield becoming unattainable in certain locations. Prime locations showed yields of below 6 percent, while ideal locations like Steglitz have produced offers ranging from 6.5 to 7 percent, many of them possessing immediate development capability.

The rental rates for residential apartments and flats have shown significant increases during this period. In this regard, the viability of Berlin apartments for sale as an investment has become a wise and fruitful business option. The property in berlin has turned very attractive at almost all levels because of the full potentials of appreciation of capital investments. A word of caution, however, is to make careful research and study and acquire proper and adequate market knowledge first before making the actual purchase or acquisition, in order to get the best deal available in an ever-growing competitive market.

Recent Berlin Apartments Market Development
When talking about Berlin apartments for sale it has to be noted that the trend in Berlin in 2008 and onwards is to focus on privatization schemes where the big international corporate investors who have purchased vast tracts of residential properties are marketing individually titled apartments, whether as vacant condominiums for the owners personal usage, or as a buy-to-let apartment investment. These schemes have generously opened a host of business opportunities to the smaller and individual private investors, making for a healthy and bullish property market sector.

Financial Support
Recognizing this economic revival and upswing in Berlin, banking and financial institutions have opened up financial packages that are designed to further stimulate the growth of the property market sector. They have offered the public financing at the level of 65 to 70 percent of the purchase price of properties.

The economic circumstances in Germany, specifically in Berlin are definitely bright and promising, and it appears that this will hold true for a more enduring period of time. Basically, the property market in Berlin is propped up by the following factors: a strong and stable population base backed up by new employment opportunities; cooperation and commitment between the foreign investors and the German government to the property locations; lower market prices than neighbouring European locations with higher yields after financing.