From 1961 to 1989, the Berlin Wall split a nation in two and stood as the Cold War’s most visible political faultline. It created unforgettable scenes of division while it stood, and reunion when it fell.
A West German couple and an East German couple engaged in conversation over barbed wire along the border in Berlin, 1961. At left, two East German soldiers.
Two young girls roller skated on an empty East Berlin street. The barbed wire preceded the Berlin Wall.
The border dividing East and West in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate appears as a no man's land in this aerial photo. East Berlin can be seen in the background.
An East German policeman kept watch from an open window as two West Berlin police officers manned a post along the wall.
A boy riding his scooter whizzed by a convoy of armored personnel carriers from the Soviet Union at Checkpoint Charlie as a British officer (right) and an American officer discussed an appropriate escort.
An East German guard carried Anna Szczygielski’s luggage as the 70-year-old woman crossed the border to be reunited with two grandchildren. Her husband had died a year earlier.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/file 1989
A boy waved to soldiers on the wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Nov. 10, 1989, the day after the wall opened.
East Berlin border guards looked on as a demonstrator pounded away at the wall on Nov. 11, 1989.