Berlin Wall Facts

When you are looking for Berlin Wall Facts you will notice that figures vary somewhat from source to source.  Due to the highly politically charged nature of the period, contemporary accounts are prone to inaccuracies as each side attempted to promote their own agenda.  What we have presented here is list of the most important facts and figures which have been researched and largely agreed upon by current historians.
For ease of navigation we have divided the page into a few sections:
The Berlin Wall in numbers – here you will find answers to questions like “How long was the Berlin Wall? or How high was the Berlin Wall?
Berlin Wall Dates - A timeline of the most important dates concerning the Berlin Wall answering questions such as “When was the Berlin Wall built?”
The Human Cost of the Berlin Wall - In this section we have included facts about escape attempts, deaths, and guards of the Berlin Wall
For more information on the Berlin Wall please visit the following pages:
Berlin Wall Map

The Berlin Wall in Numbers



Total Length of the Berlin Wall (km)


Length running between East and West Berlin (km)


Length running beween West Berlin and Brandenburg


Border Crossings between East and West Berlin


Border Crossings between West Berlin and Brandenburg


Guard Towers




Dog Runs


Km of anti vehicle trenches


Km of signal fences


Amount of seperate pre-fabricated segments which made up the final version of the Berlin Wall


Width of each of the concrete segments (in metres)


Height of each of the concrete segments (in metres)


Cost of the Berlin Wall (in DDM, East German Marks)

70 Number of escape tunnels dug

Berlin Wall Dates


13th August 1961

The Border is sealed off with Barbed Wire

17th August 1961

First brick and concrete elements built

22nd August 1961

Ida Siekmann becomes first victim of the wall after jumping to her death from her 3rd floor apartment.

24th August 1961

Günter Litfin is the first victim to be shot and killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall

26th June 1963

Kennedy makes his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech

12th June 1987

Reagan makes his "tear down this wall" speech

19th July 1988

Bruce Springsteen plays a concert in East Berlin

6th February 1989

Chris Gueffroy is the last person to be shot and killed on the Berlin Wall

9th November 1989

The Borders are opened, the Berlin Wall falls

13th June 1990

Official deconstruction of the Berlin Wall begins

The Human Cost of the Berlin Wall


3.5 Million

Number of East Germans who defected to the West before consctuction of the Berlin Wall (20% of the population)


Attempts to escape from East to West Berlin after construction of the Berlin Wall


Successful escape attempts from East to West Berlin after construction of the Berlin Wall


Number of border guards employed to guard the Berlin Wall


Confirmed Deaths at the Berlin Wall


People shot and killed crossing the Berlin Wall


People who died in accidents at the Berlin Wall but were not trying to flee


GDR Border Guards killed while on duty



Border guards who escaped to West Berlin 


When collecting these facts we consulted a number of different sources in an effort to be as accurate as possible including the official Berlin Wall Memorial website, and the official Berlin city portal as well as the book "Die Grenze" (The Border) written by Lapp/Ritter 1997.  We have made every effort to present an accurate list but if you spot something amiss, please get in touch either by facebook, twitter, or email.