The Berlin Wall was a part of the border dividing West Berlin from East Berlin and the surrounding areas from August 13, 1961 to when the border was finally opened on November 9,1989. It was also the most prominent part of the GDR border system. Many lost their lives or were arrested in their attempts to cross the well-guarded wall.
Because of the opposing political systems of the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies the occupied Germany became in a way the political scene of the Cold War. Thus, the Berlin Wall (‘Berliner Mauer’) became the iconic symbol of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain between the United States and the Soviet Union.