Residents of West Berlin showing their children to their grandparents who reside on the Eastern side, May 9, 1961.
In 1961 West Berlin became an island completely surrounded by East Germany.
The building of the Berlin Wall divided families and neighborhoods in what had been the capital of Germany. The Wall represented a uniquely squalid, violent, and ultimately futile, episode in the post-war world. Life was changed overnight in Berlin. Streets, subway lines, bus lines, tramlines, canals and rivers were divided. Family members, friends, lovers, schoolmates, work colleagues and others were abruptly separated. In some cases, children who had been visiting their grandparents on the other side of the border were suddenly cut off from their parents.
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