Museums and Memorials Commemorating the Inner-German Border and the Division of Germany

The East German dictatorship had started to "secure" its borders to the West already in 1952, that is, before the uprisong in the summer of 1953. It continued to "improve" the construction until the very end, pouring millions of East German Marks into the undertaking. By the 1980s, a "death strip" and an exclusion zone had been created that consisted, among other things, of walls and barbed wire fences, watchtowers, command posts, broad clearances for an unobstructed view on the part of East German border guards, spring guns, mines, and a section with obstacles in the ground to stop speeding vehicles from forcing their way to the West. For the few inhabited places left in the 5 km exclusion zone, life was even more restricted than elsewhere in the country, for local citizens could only enter or leave with a special permission. The army was ever-present. Contact with the Western side--be it by waving a realative--was punished. A patrol road made of perforated concrete slabs existed covering the ca. 1.400 km of inner-German border from North to South. The exact number of persons who died trying to escape is not known; they number roughly 1.000. Today, border memorials can be found on both sides of the former inner-German border. They commemorate the victims, depict the border fortifications, collect equipment including vehicles from both sides, and tell stories of every-day life at the deadly border from local and regional perspectives.

Asbach-Sickenberg: border museum "Schifflersgrund"

Bad Bodenteich: information on the federal border and border protection

Bad Koenigshofen: border museum

Bad Sachsa: border area museum

Behrungen: German-German open-air museum

Billmuthausen: Billmuthausen memorial

Boeckwitz-Zicherie: border museum

Boizenburg/Elbe: Museum Elbberg

Burggrub: border and peace chapel

Geisa: Point Alpha memorial

Geisa:local history museum "former district court Geisa"

Gompertshausen: border memorial

Graefenthal:exhibit on the inner-German border at the border and local history museum

Helmstedt: border museum

Hitzacker/Elbe: the old customs house Hitzacker/Elbe

Hoetensleben: border memorial

Hornburg: information room "GDR border" in the local history museum

Konau/Elbe: a village in the former exclusion zone

Luebeck: federal police academy

Luebeck-Schlutup: border documentation site Lübeck-Schlutup

Marienborn: German division memorial site

Moedlarreuth: German-German museum

Neustadt bei Coburg: information point about the German division

Nordhalben: museum on the history of the town

Oebisfelde: border memorial as well as the fortress and local history museum

Philippsthal/Werra: border museum

Probstzella: watchtower on the mountain Hopfsberg and house of the people in Probstzella

Schlagsdorf near Ratzeburg: border house Schlagsdorf. Museum about the life at the inner-German border

Schnackenburg: Grenzlandmuseum Schnackenburg (border museum)

Schnega: border museum

Sorge: border museum with the "circle of remembrance"

Tann/Rhoen:information point former GDR border

Teistungen: border area museum in the Eichsfeld

Wanfried: documentation center about German post-war history

Wildeck: museum for border and local history

Winnigstedt:"border" memorial site