a border through Germany
The Wall 1961 - 1989

November 9, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall was the ultimate symbol of the division of Germany and its fall and the accompanying reunification of Germany one of the most important and concise historical events of the 20th century. 

Menschen auf der Mauer am 9.November 1989

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate on 12 June 1987

November 9th...

... also marked the end of the Cold War. Humanity let a sigh of relief. On this occasion, the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur has produced a contemporary historical exhibition, which the Goethe-Institut Montreal will be showing until November 29, 2019.

The history of the Berlin Wall and of the inner-German border is documented on 20 large-format posters. On display are a number of impressive photographs and documents from the two newspapers’ archives. Addressed themes are the GDR’s border regime and its victims, escape helpers and flight, everyday life along the inner-German border and within the partitioned city, as well as the joyful overcoming of Germany’s partition during the Peaceful Revolution in 1989.

Read on to learn more about the Wall, its history and the people who had to live with it.

The wall will still be there in 50 or 100 years.

Erich Honecker on January 19, 1989

Historic Accounts


In any case, it wasn’t for the bananas

While the leaves on the right and left of the Berlin Wall are turning autumnal, the Peaceful Revolution is beginning in the GDR. One year later, Germany is again one country.

The facts are familiar - but how did autumn 1989 really feel? On Monday demonstrations and the sale of chunks of the Wall to tourists.

Experience this era in 7 chapters with reports and photos from the time, told and photographed by contemporary witnesses. 

More stories about the wall



The Wall - Brochures

The Wall - a border through Germany
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The wall was a building of fear. On 9 November 1989 it became a place of joy.

German President Horst Köhler on November 9, 2009

Die Mauer © BSA

For Teachers

The exhibition „The Wall – a border through Germany“ was produced by the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship East Germany (Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur) and by the newspapers BILD and DIE WELT in the year 2011 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

The Goethe-Institut Montreal will be showing this contemporary historical exhibition from 28 September 2019.

On display are a number of impressive photographs and authentic documents. Teaching materials that allow you to integrate the subject into your classes are available here. 

The material is divided in three parts:

Introduction to the subject of the Berlin Wall
Your students will be introduced to the theme of the Berlin Wall in a general way. It is best to use these activities as a preparation for the visit.

Activties during the visit
These activities refer to the content (text and photographs) of the posters and should be used during the visit of the exhibition. More about the Berlin Wall
Here you will find some assingments to deepen the knowledge of your students about the Berlin Wall. They can find the answers either on the posters or by researching multimedia sources.