Your World: The Day The Wall Went Up

Episode 1

Over the weekend of August 12 and 13, 1961, the Russians began erecting the Berlin Wall, which not only cut Germany’s capital city in two, but was to become for almost three decades the Cold War’s most malevolent symbol in a world constantly under threat of nuclear war. Now, 50 years on from that weekend, BBC journalist Gerry Northam puts that momentous weekend in its political context, when West Berlin’s mayor Willy Brandt pleaded with the West to intervene; Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev watched and waited to see if it would, and American President John F Kennedy said that a wall may not be nice but was preferable to a war.  It was the unleashing of an East-West crisis.

Episode 2

Gerry Northam, in the second of two programmes, tells of the HUMAN consequences of that Wall – the separated families, the heartbreak and injustice, the desperate and ingenious escape attempts, and the sad and terrible deaths when things went wrong.

Episode 1 13th August 2011
Episode 2 20th August 2011