The Berlin Wall: A Historical Timeline

Berlin Wall Milestones

Nazi Germany Defeated

May 8, 1945

World War II is over; Berlin divided into 4 sectors: American, British, French & Soviet

West Germany founded

May 12, 1949

Federal Republic if Germany (West Germany) is founded

East Germany founded

October 7, 1949

German Democratic Republic founded. FIrst leader is Walter Ulbricht.

Border between East and West Germany closed. Berlin still open

May 26, 1952

Border between East and West Germany closed. Only border between West Berlin and East Berlin is still opened.

East German citizens require permission in order to travel to FDR

November 14, 1953

Government permission required for East Germans to travel to West Germany (FDR)

East Germans lose freedom of travel

December 11, 1957

Leaving East Germany without permission is forbidden.

Berlin Wall barriers buit

August 13, 1961

Last open checkpoint between the two sides of the city of Berlin is closed

Brandenburg Gate is closed

August 14, 1961

Brandenburg Gate is closed.

Crossing Points closed to West German citizens

August 26, 1961

All crossing points in Berlin are completely closed to West German citizens.

President Kennedy visits West Berlin

June 26, 1963

President Kennedy makes his "Ich bin Ein Berliner" speech about the conflict between Communism and capitalism.

President Reagan Visits Berlin

June 12, 1987

President Reagan visits Berlin and encourages Gorbachev to tear down the Wall.

Berlin Wall comes down

November 9, 1989

Berlin wall comes down

Brandenburg Gate reopened

December 22, 1989

Brandenburg Gate opened

Germany officially reunited

October 3, 1990

The two Germanys are officially reunited.

East German Leadership

Allied Military Occupation

1945 - 1949

Germany divided into four sectors: Amercan, Soviet, British and French

Wilhelm Pieck

1949 - 1960

State President of the German Democratic Republic.

Walter Ulbricht

1960 - 1971

General Secretary of Central Planning Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany from 1950 to 1971. President of East Germany from 1960 until his death in 1973.

Erich Honecker

1971 - October 18, 1989

General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany

Egon Krenz

October 18, 1989 - December 3, 1989

Soviet Leadership

Joseph Stalin

1941 - 1953

1941-1953

Georgy Malenkov

1953 - 1955

1953-1955

Nikita Khrushchev

1955 - 1964

1955-1964

Leonid Brezhnev

1964 - 1982

1964-1982

Yuri Andropov

1982 - 1984

1982-1984

Konstantin Chernenko

1984 - 1985

1984-1985

Mikhail Gorbachev

1985 - 1991

1985-1991

American Presidents

Harry Truman

1945 - 1953

1945-1953

Dwight Eisenhower

1953 - 1961

1953-1961

John F. Kennedy

1961 - 1963

1961-1963

Lyndon Johnson

1963 - 1969

1963-1969

Richard Nixon

1969 - 1974

1969-1974

Gerald Ford

1974 - 1977

1974-1977

Jimmy Carter

1977 - 1981

1977-1981

Ronald Reagan

1981 - 1989

1981-1989

George H.W. Bush

1989 - 1993

1989-1993