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How One Heartbreaking Photo Captured The Inhumanity Of The Berlin Wall

Updated 14 Jun 2017 84.4k views3 items

On August 13, 1961, the Berlin Wall was officially constructed, separating communist East Germany from capitalist West Germany. It was another ratcheting up of the tensions of the Cold War. That same day, a photographer snapped an image of an unknown East German soldier helping a little boy through the Berlin Wall. Though we don't know that soldier's name or his ultimate fate, we do know that – despite his orders – he decided to aid a helpless child the day the Berlin Wall was built.

From 1949 to 1961, more than 2.5 million people fled East Germany for opportunities in the West. That all stopped the day the Wall was built. The separation lasted until 1989, when Mr. Gorbachev tore down that Wall. During its nearly three decades in existence, almost 200 people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall. Thankfully, the little boy in this photo wasn't one of them.

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