The growing number of east german citizens fleeing to the west forced the east german government to take measures. The constant loss of qualified workers troubled the already weak economy. From 1949 until 1961 more than two and a half million fled to West Germany.
In the early morning of August 13th 1961 the free access to East Berlin was blocked by East German authorities. At first the access was blocked by barbed-wire obstacles. Then workers who were guarded by NVA soldiers constructed the first wall.