The Berlin Wall famously fell in 1989, but not all of it came down, apparently. An overlooked 20-meter (66-foot) piece of the historic barrier—which was erected in 1961 to divide West Berlin from East Berlin and surrounding East Germany—has been found. It had been standing there all along in the heart of the German capital, undisturbed and unnoticed for nearly 30 years. The section of the wall is located on a quiet side street in the highly gentrified and trendy neighborhood of Mitte, hidden underneath vines and graffiti on a quiet side street.
It was none other than Berlin’s city councilor for urban development, Ephraim Gothe, who stumbled upon the lost section of the wall. He told the Guardian that he had found it accidentally when giving a tour to 40 locals of a housing complex and a half-built park this June.
Gothe flagged it for further inspection by the Berlin Monument Authority and, indeed, it turned out to be the real thing. Depending on its specific purpose and time of construction, parts of the wall can look quite different from each other. This piece constituted a part of the outer defense perimeter, which was built for additional security to the main part of the wall.
“I was completely surprised that undiscovered parts still exist,” Gothe told the DPA news agency. He also suggested that further pieces could be hiding on the outskirts of the city. According to the Guardian, Dr Günther Schulsche from the Berlin Wall Institute also agrees that there are sections yet to be uncovered.
This week marks the 57th anniversary of the wall’s construction, and on Monday, Berlin’s mayor Michael Müller and other officials laid down a wreath at the central memorial for the Berlin Wall to commemorate its victims. The Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam has confirmed that at least 140 people died at the Berlin Wall during its 26-year existence.
The newly uncovered piece has been placed under protection, and information panels have been installed. The park has also been redesigned to bring attention to this new cultural landmark of the once divided city.
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