The Upshot

Photos commemorate fall of Berlin Wall

The Upshot

June 13 marks the anniversary of the official dismantling of the Berlin Wall--the relic of Cold War hostilities between the Soviet Union and Western democracies which made citizens of Berlin prey to severe travel restrictions, and tragically divided families across contending spheres of ideological influence. At the time the wall was erected in 1961, award-winning photojournalist Paul Schutzer of Life magazine captured the unnerving images of the early days of a city suddenly split in half.

The photographs here show both the physical foundation of the wall--but also the troubling new cast of daily life in Berlin amid the new tensions of Cold War confrontation. While citizens on both sides of the wall were able to travel freely across it in late 1989, the East German military began to take down the physical structure in 1990 in Bernauer Straße.

Slideshow: More early images of the Berlin Wall


Paul Schutzer/LIFE.com

Click here to see the entire collection of photos at LIFE.com.

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