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Brandenburg Gate

History and Location

The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor in German) was erected as a landmark from 1788 to 1791 located on the Paris Square (Pariser Platz) by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm the second.

Image of the Brandenburg Gate
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The Brandenburg Gate marks the border between today's districts of Tiergarten which was in the British sector and Mitte in the Soviet sector. To the east the street Unter den Linden leads towards the easetern city center and to the west the street of June 17th.

Third Reich

Located between the Reichstag and the Reichskanzlei were Hitler ruled from it was often used for parading troops or party organizations like the SA.

Parade in the Third Reich through the Brandenburg Gate
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This area was also the last part to be held by troops of the Waffen SS despite being surrounded by Soviet troops. Although most buildings in the vicinity being completely destroyed the Brandenburg Gate survived.

Brandenburg Gate in wartime

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Battledamage debries and fortifications arround the area.

Brandenburg Gate in wartime
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The Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag right after the war.

Cold War

Since it was on the border between the British and the Soviet sector many people used it to get into the other part of the city. This was possible until the wall was built.

Image depicting the sign marking the border of the western sector - Achtung Sie verlassen jetzt West-Berlin
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On the day the wall was built East German Kampfgruppen a paramilitary force was protecting the border and preventing east Germans from fleeing and west Germans to disrupt the construction workers.

Kampfgruppen at the Brandenburg Gate
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Image of the wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license. Attribution: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F079009-0032 / CC-BY-SA

Today

After the reunification the Brandenburg Gate was opened for traffic again. Exhaust fumes and the vibrations from vehicles were damaging the old landmark. Today it is closed for motorized vehicles making it even more attractive for tourists to visit on foot.